Farm Ireland

Monday 19 March 2018

ICSA members may determine duo's fate

Martin Ryan

The support of up to 74 members of the ICSA's national executive may be required to enforce the removal of two senior officers from the association.

A protracted and divisive legal wrangle has developed over the manner in which Peter Fox and Tom Egan were removed from the leadership of the ICSA's beef committee.

Mr Fox and Mr Egan were chairman and vice chairman respectively of the influential committee but were removed from office after clashing with the ICSA's leadership over the association's support for the quality payment system (QPS) for cattle.

Lawyers acting for the two officials have now challenged the procedures adopted during their removal from office.

According to the ICSA memorandum of association, a copy of which has been seen by the Farming Independent, the organisation's national executive has the power to remove any national officer if such a resolution is passed by a three-quarters majority of the members present and voting at a meeting specially convened for the purpose.

However, the rules also state that a member whose removal is to be voted on by the national executive must receive 14 days' notice in writing that a meeting of the national executive is being held to discuss such a resolution.

Both Mr Fox and Mr Egan were informed in writing at the beginning of July that the management had decided to remove them from office because they had acted in a manner "condemning ICSA and advocating the setting up of an alternative farm organisation".

They were further advised that they were being allowed 14 days to make representations to the management committee but that they were suspended from all duties and responsibilities within the ICSA pending that meeting.

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Lawyers for the two officers are now challenging that the management committee did not have the power to remove them from the national executive -- an action which, according to the ICSA's rules, requires 75pc support of those attending and voting at a specially convened meeting of the national executive.

The ICSA denies that the officers were not treated fairly and within the guidelines of the association.

A spokesperson for the ICSA said that they are satisfied that the correct procedures were followed during the removal of Mr Fox and Mr Egan.

It has been argued that the officers did not lodge an appeal within the prescribed period.

Both Mr Fox and Mr Egan claim that a solicitor acting on their behalf had drafted and lodged an appeal.

Irish Independent