Farm Ireland

Saturday 16 December 2017

Calls to close off IFA rules 'loophole'

IFA director general, Damian McDonald
IFA director general, Damian McDonald

Martin Ryan

Calls for IFA rule changes have been made after it emerged that a loophole in the current statutes permitted representatives to retain positions on the association's national council beyond the maximum four consecutive years.

In response to a query from the Limerick county executive, IFA director general, Damian McDonald, confirmed, that there was no barrier to an outgoing county chairman being elected vice-chairman in the same county and holding a seat on the national council while deputising for the county chairman.

The clarification from IFA headquarters had been sought following the recent election of the outgoing Limerick county chairman, Aidan Gleeson, as vice-chairman of the executive.

As county chairman, Mr Gleeson had represented Limerick on the national executive council for the past four years.

A motion of challenge to the election was lodged with the Limerick executive on the grounds that Mr Gleeson might have been unable to fully represent the county on national council having already served four years on the body.

However, Mr McDonald stated that there was "no restrictions on the county chairman at the end of his term taking up the position of county vice-chairman." He further explained that as the county vice-chairman was "a separate position" to that of county chairman, then the county vice-chairman was entitled to attend national council meetings and "carry out his functions."

However, Limerick county executive member, Simon White, claimed the clarification exposed a serious loophole in the rules. He said the principle of limiting consecutive terms on the IFA national council for any member to a maximum of four years had been undermined and he called for the revision of the rules to be revisited.

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