Downey plans to address IFA council meeting
Former IFA president Eddie Downey remains determined to address a meeting of the organisation’s national council in the aftermath of the €1.9m settlement with its former secretary general.
The Meath farmer wants to be given a chance to tell farmers about the day a ‘golden handshake’ of €2m was signed off on for Pat Smith in 2015.
“I want to tell people what happened that day,” he said, adding he was determined to address an upcoming meeting of the national council.
Mr Downey said he has yet to hear from the IFA on whether an invitation will be issued.
However, he added: “The president can give the invitation to anybody to come to speak so I’ll just ask. I would like to close this down one way or the other, I’m two years without being able to tell the truth.”
It follows IFA accepting that it defamed Mr Smith after two legal actions were settled outside the High Court. The IFA confirmed that Mr Smith is to receive €1.55m in relation to his severance claim and €350,000 in relation to his defamation claim.
At a recent Meath IFA meeting of over 100 farmers, Mr Downey said he was passed a ticking time-tomb when he became president. “The music stopped and I was holding the parcel.” He said approval was sought and granted at every step of the process.