IFA issues apology to prominent farmer over 'smear' campaign
A prominent Limerick farmer, who alleges he was the victim of a personalised ‘smear campaign’ to prevent his election to county office, has received a public apology from IFA Deputy President, Richard Kennedy and Limerick County Chairman, Shay Galvin on behalf of the IFA.
The alleged campaign against Pallaskenry beef producer, Donal O’Brien was described as ‘disgusting’, ‘disgraceful’, and ‘shameful’ when cited as ‘an issue that went out of control and was appalling from a personal point of view’ by his fellow farmers when the matter was aired at a meeting of Limerick County Executive at Adare.
Mr O’Brien told the meeting: “All I want now is my good name restored, a public apology by IFA and the people who destroyed my name, and I believe the only hope of this is an independent enquiry” adding “I believe that there was a conspiracy to destroy my name”.
He claimed that he had been the subject of allegations of “a lot of shady deals when buying land”; as well as “damage to a property”, being “arrested and jailed” and rumours about his health, family life, and other allegations “so distasteful that I won’t even mention them” all of which were “totally untrue” and without a shred of substance.
The rumours were alleged to have circulated last month when he campaigned in the election of county chairman, in which he was an unsuccessful candidate at the February AGM.
However, he commended newly elected county chairman, Shay Galvin, who defeated him the election for “running a clean campaign” and accepted his assurance that he was not party to any of the allegations.
In a carefully pre-prepared statement read to the meeting, he said “there are a number of people who were involved in this smear campaign. I am not going to embarrass you and name you here tonight, but you all know who you are”.
He added: “Some of you might say, this is only sour grapes. This is not true.