Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Thursday 23 February 2017

More than 16 months of turmoil and wrangling over pay packets of senior executives leaves top farmers' organisation in a state of crisis

Published 16/12/2015 | 02:30

Pat Smith
Pat Smith
Former IFA President Eddie Downey

August 11, 2014: The IFA's former chief economist Con Lucey resigns from his role as chairman of the newly formed audit committee in a letter outlining his concerns about the organisation's general secretary, Pat Smith, to IFA president Eddie Downey.

  • Go To

Thursday, Nov 4, 2015: Carlow chairman Derek Deane tells the national council he believes that Pat Smith is earning €300,000, excluding pension and car benefits. He calls for vote on revealing the pay details. The proposal is rejected.

Thursday, Nov 12: IFA president Eddie Downey says suggestions that Pat Smith's pay was more than €400,000 were "uncorroborated, unsubstantiated, and should be ignored".

Wednesday, Nov 18: Derek Deane goes on RTE radio claiming that Pat Smith's salary is actually more than €450,000 a year.

Thursday, Nov 19: Eddie Downey signs off on a €2m severance deal with Pat Smith in the Farm Centre, while Pat Smith resigns later that evening.

Friday, Nov 20: An meeting of IFA national executive hears details of Mr Smith's €535,000 pay package in 2013. Mr Downey says the package was "not sustainable and unacceptable. Accordingly, we have dealt with it".

Monday, Nov 23: Executive board meeting in the Farm Centre reveals that Eddie Downey's salary was €147,000, and that the president was "stepping back" to give Con Lucey time to resume his role in reviewing pay structures at the top of the lobby group.

Tuesday, Nov 24: Public realises that Eddie Downey's remuneration is closer to €200,000 when automatic directorships at Bord Bia and Teagasc are included.

Also Read


Wednesday, Nov 25: A marathon 17-hour emergency national executive meeting results in the resignation of Mr Downey following revelations that Pat Smith walked away from IFA with a €2.7m pension pot, along with a €2m golden handshake. IFA states that it will challenge Mr Smith's severance package in the courts.

Thursday, Nov 26: Mr Smith demands that €1m of his severance pay is paid to charities.

Friday, Dec 11: Pat Smith lodges proceedings against the IFA over its claims that it would not pay his severence package

Tuesday, Dec 15: Con Lucey's review shows that IFA presidents were paid up to €175,000 as a golden handshake at the end of their four-year terms. The IFA national executive meets at Farm Centre HQ to decide on the extent of the change required to end the crisis at the organisation.

Irish Independent



Top Stories