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Wednesday 7 December 2016

The unanswered questions in the IFA pay saga

Published 02/12/2015 | 02:30

Questions remain over precisely what was discussed prior to Mr Downey entering the room with Mr Smith on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19
Questions remain over precisely what was discussed prior to Mr Downey entering the room with Mr Smith on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19

Former IFA president Eddie Downey speaking about the "difficult, fractious" meeting that saw former general secretary Pat Smith exit with a €2m 'golden handshake' has raised plenty of questions.

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Every new twist and turn in the controversy, which first raised its head over accountability for senior pay, raises further questions. Yet it is the answers that prove less than forthcoming.

The IFA refused to comment on the latest move, which saw Mr Downey give his account of the approval of the exit deal.

The IFA has already stated this was an "unapproved package" and it has "rightly disowned it".

Yet Mr Downey said the first he learned of any concerns over it was four days later.

Questions remain over precisely what was discussed prior to Mr Downey entering the room with Mr Smith on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19.

Mr Downey said he had met with the legal adviser, treasurer and financial controller and spoke with the deputy president, Tim O'Leary, by phone.

Mr Downey has stated he received approval "during" the process of reaching the deal. It remains unclear who gave him the approval and who else agreed to the severance package.

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He also said he had legal advice. Questions remain over who else was aware of this.

Irish Independent