IFA refuse to reveal top salaries despite grassroots pressure
IFA president Eddie Downey has moved to defend the association as issues over remuneration for top staff have again been raised at branch meetings and association anniversary celebrations.
"If you want the truth on what has been said or done over the last year and a half of my term as your president bring me to your executive and I will gladly respond to every question," Mr Downey said at a anniversary event in Limerick last week.
His comments came after a proposal calling for the salary package of the IFA general secretary Pat Smith to be disclosed to the national executive council was rejected before a heated council meeting.
The IFA has refused to confirm the salary package of Mr Smith after former IFA deputy president and long-standing member, Derek Deane, claimed before the council that he had heard Mr Smith was earning in excess of €400,000, including pension contributions and provision for a car.
Mr Deane said a figure of close to €300,000, plus a pension contribution and car was "being widely mentioned for 2014" for an organisation with a budget of €12m.
He said such a figure would be far higher than comparable salaries with the secretary general of the Agriculture Department earning €185,000 for overseeing a €1bn budget.
Concerned farmers have called for transparency on senior pay levels within the IFA at county meetings throughout the country.
However, addressing the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the organisation at Adare, Limerick, Mr Downey claimed the matters raised in relation to Mr Smith's pay package were "uncorroborated" and "unsubstantiated and should be ignored".