Challenge to the IFA's presence on FBD board

IFA President Joe Healy. Photo: Finbarr O'Rourke
IFA President Joe Healy. Photo: Finbarr O'Rourke
Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

A Donegal farmer is challenging the re-election of the IFA president to the board of Farm Business Developments at next Friday's AGM.

Brian Marshall, who owns a 100ac livestock farm, and is a card-carrying member of IFA, was a founding shareholder.

He now holds 60,369 shares in the company, and says that even though IFA only has a 1pc shareholding in FBD, it has five seats on the board compared to the six seats allocated to other shareholders that own 91pc of the business.

He wants farmer shareholders to add his name to the proxy voting card ­issued with the notice of the AGM because he says he is "very concerned about the ­decisions being taken for the future of the business".

"Joe Healy publicly stated at the Donegal election hustings that he would guarantee an end to IFA cronyism, but he has not followed through," he said.

"Why is a public company with assets of over €100m without a website that gives farmer shareholders easy access to information?" he asked.

He is also querying a marked decline in administration costs from €947,000 in 2011 to €381,000 in 2014 when the volume of assets it administered was the same, and the deal that saw the company buy 50pc in property from FBD Holdings. "Why were we not given an opportunity to vote on the deal," he asked.

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