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IFA and Pat Smith may avoid a date in court


Former general secretary of the IFA Pat Smith

Former general secretary of the IFA Pat Smith

Former IFA general secretary Pat Smith

Former IFA general secretary Pat Smith


Former general secretary of the IFA Pat Smith

The IFA and its former General Secretary may avoid a date in the High Court as IFA confirms it has agreed to engage in mediation with Pat Smith.

Smith left his post as IFA General Secretary in November 2015, amid speculation around his salary and pressure for it to be disclosed.

It was later revealed that Smith had been paid in excess of €500,000 in 2013, including a base salary of €295,000 a pension contribution of €145,194 and a bonus of €55,000, as well as €35,000 from IFA telecom.

Smith later brought two legal actions against the organisation, including one seeking orders requiring it to pay him €2m via payments of €1m now and a further €1m over the next ten years.

One of the cases is aimed at securing enforcement of a November 19, 2015, agreement which Mr Smith says is valid, effective and enforceable.

In his second case, he alleged he was defamed by the IFA and has issued a claim for damages, including aggravated damages.

Smith said his agreement with IFA on his exit centered around a €1m exit package and a further €1m in yearly €100,000 instalments.

However, at Tuesday's National Council meeting in Dublin, it was agreed that it was a good time to look at mediation with Smith. It is understood that both parties are happy to go down this route, and avoid a possibly lengthy and expensive legal day out.

It is not known who initiated contact between the two parties, but one source said that the general concession in IFA HQ is that it should enter mediation with Smith.

"This may go nowhere but it is hoped that there would be enough common ground for a resolution," the source said.

IFA has confirmed to that at Tuesday's meeting of the IFA Executive Council agreed unanimously to authorise the Executive Board of IFA to engage in mediation with Pat Smith and his representatives in relation to on-going legal disputes between both parties.

When contacted Smith said he was not in a position to comment.

Online Editors