IFA chief brought experience gained at home and abroad

Profile: Pat Smith

Former IFA General Secretary Pat Smith
Former IFA General Secretary Pat Smith

Highly educated and with experience of the industry at the top level, both in Ireland and abroad, Pat Smith's appointment as IFA general secretary didn't come as any great surprise.

His whole life had revolved around the sector, prior to his getting the job in 2009. He was born into a farming family in Kilmainhamwood, near the Cavan-Meath border, where he spent his formative years.

Farming was in the blood, so it made sense that after attending secondary school at St Finian's in Mullingar, he would pursue studies in Warrenstown Agricultural College and later UCD, where he graduated with an honours degree in General Agriculture in 1983.

For the next three years, he plied his trade with Scottish Agricultural Industries.

In 1989 his 25-year career with the IFA began after he secured the executive secretary role of the farm business and environment committees within the association.

At the same time, he earned a diploma in accounting and finance.

And as his impressive repertoire grew, so too did his CV. He became director of organisations in 1990 and would remain in the position until his appointment as general secretary - the position from which he resigned last week.

In his personal life he is said to be a passionate GAA supporter and is married to Elizabeth, also from a farming family.

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Irish Independent

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