IFA Executive Council survives motion of no confidence
'Golden handshakes' for former IFA presidents
Published 16/12/2015 | 02:30
A motion of no confidence in the executive board of the Irish Farmers Association has been defeated.
The decision was reached close to midnight last night after the board met for nearly 12 hours to consider the report into the high pay revelations conducted by the IFA former chief economist Con Lucey.
A subsequent motion of no confidence in the deputy president Tim O'Leary and the IFA treasurer Jer Bergin was also defeated.
The decision followed the revelation that presidents of the crisis-hit Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) received 'golden handshakes' worth up to €175,000, or a year's salary, as they exited their posts.
The wide-ranging 44-page report from the IFA's trusted former chief economist Con Lucey pointed out the salaries had become removed from their original purpose of ensuring the president's farm did not suffer when they took on the new role.
It went on to show that former general secretary Pat Smith received €3.4m over seven years, including over €500,000 on three of the years and over €1m into his pension pot.
Mr Lucey, who stepped down from the IFA's audit committee 18 months ago citing alleged interference, pointed out it was difficult to see the justification for funding a 'Top Hat' early retirement scheme uniquely for the benefit of Mr Smith, and the payment of fees of up to €35,000 from IFA Telecom to the general secretary seemed "unjustified".
He pointed out €4.6m went into the IFA defined-pension fund to deal with a shortfall over a four-year period, with €1.2m going to Mr Smith alone and 34 others sharing €3.4m.