Full election at IFA as board caves to pressure
The Irish Farmers' Association is moving into full-blown election mode after the entire executive board agreed to all positions being put to the vote of grassroots' members.
It follows mounting pressure from farmers, angered over recent pay revelations. There were demands for all the top officers in the organisation to step aside for a full election.
The six-man board confirmed it had agreed to allow a full round of fresh elections for all the national officer positions, alongside the planned presidential election, in the "best interests of the association".
The unrest follows a pay controversy that saw former IFA general secretary Pat Smith and former president Eddie Downey step down from their posts.
Mr Smith resigned after it emerged his remuneration amounted to almost €1m over two years, with a package of €535,000 in 2013.
A proposal will be put on the table at today's national council meeting at IFA headquarters in Dublin which would see those elected to the top posts taking up the jobs potentially on two terms of two years.
If approved, the change would mean the current board - including deputy president Tim O'Leary and four regional chairmen - could put themselves forward for a second term. The position held by the national treasurer is generally decided at the AGM.
Richard Connell, IFA chair of Cork West, said farmers at a weekend meeting had demanded a full round of elections.