ICMSA boss can't reveal payments from Dairy Board
The head of the country's second largest farmers' union says he is not allowed to reveal how much he is paid to be a director of Ornua, which replaced the national dairy board.
Pressure is now mounting on John Comer, president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA), to say how much he receives for his work on the board of Ornua.
He was speaking at the ICMSA annual conference, where he said he was not prepared to divulge his full earnings or claimed expenses, and said to do so would be "nonsense".
He said he would only give "ball-park figures" and that he gets an "allowance" of less than €50,000, excluding expenses.
He said the annual allowance was "for replacement labour on my farm at home when I am representing the ICMSA, which is a full-time job".
"My allowance is less than €50,000 and I refuse to give the pounds, shillings and pence, because I think that's a step too far," he said. "Individuals have a right to some degree of privacy."
In relation to his role with Ornua, formerly known as the Irish Dairy Board, he said he would like to disclose his full earnings but is precluded doing so under existing rules. He said he wants to see this policy changed.
His comments come as Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) must now be totally transparent on all monies spent, as ministers admitted the vast scale of salaries had left them shocked.