Former IFA President Eddie Downey: Can I not tell the truth now?
Former IFA President says he's going to national council to have his say 'whether you want me or not'
The fall-out from the Irish Farmers' Association €1.9m settlement with its former secretary general continues to rumble this week.
Former IFA president Eddie Downey has demanded that he be allowed air his version of events at a meeting of the organisation’s national council in IFA headquarters in Dublin. He had planned to attend tomorrow's (Thursday) meeting but that meeting has since been cancelled due to the weather condtions.
“I’ve waited long enough to tell the truth about what happened in that room,” he said of the night over two years ago when he signed off on a €2m severance deal with the then general secretary, Pat Smith.
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.
Mr Downey was addressing over 100 farmers attending a Meath IFA AGM in Navan on Monday night, where he claimed that he had been defamed by reports during the period when both he and Mr Smith stepped down from their roles at the head of the country’s largest farmer organisation which was engulfed in a pay controversy.
Mr Downey told the meeting that he was passed a ticking time-tomb when he became president. “The music stopped and I was holding the parcel.”
When details of the €2m severance deal for Mr Smith emerged, Mr Downey claimed that senior members of the IFA effectively “threw me under a bus”.
“Reports at the time said that Eddie Downey acted alone. This is not true. This is defamation,” he told the Meath IFA AGM.