IFA candidates clash over no-confidence motion
Published 02/03/2016 | 02:30
Two of the candidates for the IFA presidency have clashed over the circumstances surrounding the no confidence motion against the association's former general secretary Pat Smith last January.
As the hustings debates heated up in recent days, there were shouts for retractions from farmers at the candidates' debate in Carlow after Kerry's Flor McCarthy said the IFA's livestock chair and presidential candidate Henry Burns had supported the general secretary when it came to the crunch vote on Mr Smith's position.
"We've had massive confusion in the whole livestock industry. There was a motion on the floor of council in January 2015 - the livestock committee on that date supported the general secretary. I abstained in that vote as I had major issues with the way the general secretary dealt with the livestock issues," said Mr McCarthy.
"We had the livestock chairman supporting the general secretary that day," he claimed.
Laois man Mr Burns took to his feet to refute Mr McCarthy's claim. "The motion came from my county - (so) that is a complete inaccuracy," said Mr Burns, amid raised voices and calls to Mr McCarthy to "withdraw" it.
Mr Burns said the Laois motion was linked to the beef issue that had seen farmers reluctantly drawback from picketing factory gates over low prices.
"The motion was changed on the day into a motion of no confidence on the general secretary," Mr Burns said. He added he had abstained from the vote on the new motion.
"I did not speak in favour of the general secretary," he said.