Farm Ireland

Sunday 18 March 2018

Salaries of top IFA staff worth €2.1m

New director general will get €185k as president is paid €120k - plus Audi

New post: Damian McDonald
New post: Damian McDonald
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

The top 20 salaries at the Irish Farmers Association come to a combined total of more than €2m, new figures reveal.

New IFA director general Damian McDonald will be paid a salary of €185,000 while president Joe Healy is being paid €120,000 a year, it was confirmed - a year on from the pay scandal that rocked the lobby group.

It also emerged that three key executives in the IFA - assistant general secretary Bryan Barry, director of organisation James Kelly and financial controller Ken Heade - are sharing a joint total of more than €481,000. With employer pension contributions, the amount comes to €591,651.

The figures show the next 15 members of IFA staff after executive management earn an average of €103,912, excluding pension contributions, or €1.558m.

The full figures reveal that the wages of the top 20 staff are costing the association €2.1m, excluding pensions.

A wages bill for replacement farm workers of key staff adds another €238,805.

Almost 12 months to the day after its former general secretary Pat Smith resigned, the IFA yesterday ratified Mr McDonald as its director general.

Horse Sport Ireland chief executive Mr McDonald will begin the new role in the new year and he will pick up a salary of €185,000 together with employer pension contributions of 15pc and a company car.

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It was also revealed Mr Healy is being paid €120,000 and has a company car - an Audi A6 - as part of his remuneration.

The latest salary details were presented to the IFA executive council yesterday. Mr Healy detailed that the benchmarking process within IFA was carried out by consulting firm Mercer, which said: "Overall, remuneration levels were broadly in line with what we would expect from an organisation such as IFA.

"However, there did seem to be a wider range of salaries than we would have expected at the executive secretary level."

The figures for the IFA's executive management and senior staff were for the year ending March 2016.

The IFA said that in order to provide maximum transparency to members, it decided to go "significantly further" than the accounting requirement and give a breakdown of key management personnel.

Mr Healy said: "At our AGM in April, I pledged to put in place maximum transparency and high standards of governance within IFA to rebuild trust among farmers. We will now move forward to ensure the association is adequately resourced and equipped to continue to deliver the best possible results for farm families."

The director general post came about after former general secretary Mr Smith resigned in November 2015, amid speculation about his pay. It emerged he was paid €535,000 in 2013.

Irish Independent