Wednesday 28 September 2016

Golden handshakes and huge pay in IFA

Published 16/12/2015 | 02:30

IFA deputy president Tim O’Leary with acting general secretary Bryan Barry and former IFA economist Con Lucey at Farm Centre in Dublin.
IFA deputy president Tim O’Leary with acting general secretary Bryan Barry and former IFA economist Con Lucey at Farm Centre in Dublin.

A review of IFA pay revealed past presidents were not only paid up to €180,000 - but also received golden handshakes at the end of their terms.

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But the body's Executive Staff are threatening legal action if their pay is disclosed.

Several members of the Executive Staff at the farmers' union say the IFA must ensure the "confidentiality" of staff salaries are fully respected and warned the association may be "exposing itself to potential liabilities" if remuneration is revealed.

A number of the full-time management executives are on salaries of more than €160,000 a year. The extent of the IFA's lavish pay packages for its former bosses was set out in a review, which showed former general secretary Pat Smith got €3.4m over seven years, including more than €500,000 on three of the years and more than €1m into his pension pot.

In his review, former chief economist Con Lucey says the IFA "needs to be above suspicion in everything it does" to maintain the trust of its members and good image.

Former president Eddie Downey was paid €156,000 a year. Yet this was lower than his predecessor John Bryan, who received €169,400 in 2013, while another former president Padraig Walshe received a package worth €181,250 in 2009.

The former presidents were also entitled to termination payments as they exited the four-year posts which were worth a full one year's salary.

Irish Independent

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