Business Irish

Thursday 14 December 2017

Legal challenge may stop ICSA beef meeting

Martin Ryan

A LEGAL challenge could be mounted to stop a meeting of the ICSA national beef committee set to take place tomorrow evening.

Members of the committee were informed of the meeting, which is due to be held at Portlaoise from 5pm, by text message on Friday.

However, Peter Fox and Tom Egan, who were formerly chairman and vice-chairman respectively of the 36-member committee, have confirmed that they were not informed of the meeting by the organisation.

Last night, they were understood to be considering their legal position following consultation with their solicitors.

The two officers have been in conflict with the ICSA national executive in recent months because of their stated opposition to the farmer body's support for the quality payments system (QPS) for cattle.

While the QPS is backed by the ICSA's national executive, it has been rejected by the national beef committee, which called for the suspension of the grading system.

Some weeks ago, both Mr Fox and Mr Egan were given 14 days to appeal a decision that they be removed from office.

Two weeks ago, they were advised that they had been removed as officers of the beef committee and as members of the ICSA national executive.

Mr Fox confirmed that he had received both letters but insisted that he is still "legally" chairman of the beef committee.

"The correspondence was passed to my solicitor, who was in contact with solicitors for the ICSA informing them that I was challenging the decision that I be removed from office and I still await further developments on that," Mr Fox said.

He confirmed that he will not be attending tomorrow's beef committee meeting, but his legal advisors have been informed.

Mr Egan has also confirmed that he will not be travelling to the meeting.

It is understood that a meeting of the ICSA national executive will follow the beef committee meeting.

A spokesperson for the ICSA said he would not be making any comment on the matter.

Irish Independent

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