Monday 27 January 2020

Former IFA general secretary Pat Smith brings two legal actions against organisation

Pat Smith. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Pat Smith. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

Tim Healy

FORMER Irish Farmers Assocation (IFA) general secretary Pat Smith has brought two legal actions against the organisation including one seeking orders requiring it to pay him €2m via payments of €1m now and a further €1m over the next ten years.

One of the cases is aimed at securing enforcement of a November 19, 2015, agreement which Mr Smith says is valid, effective and enforceable.

In his second case, he alleges he was defamed by the IFA and has issued a claim for damages, including aggravated damages.

Both cases were in separate High Court lists this week via pre-trial motions on behalf of Mr Smith's side for judgment in default of defence.

Such motions are not unusual in cases where a plaintiff is anxious to get their case on and were struck out on consent of the sides with no details disclosed.

Dates for the hearing of both cases have yet to be fixed.

In his case over the alleged November 2015 agreement, Mr Smith wants orders for specific performance of that agreement or, alternatively, orders requiring the IFA pay him €1m now which he claims is due in consideration of his resignation as general secretary.

He also wants it to pay him an additional €1m via yearly €100,000 instalments beginning next month.

Mr Smith, who worked for the IFA for over 25 years and became general secretary in 2009,  resigned after the IFA came under pressure to reveal his salary.

It was later disclosed he was paid more than €540,000 in 2013 and more than €450,000 in 2014 and 2015. 

In his action over the agreement, he also wants orders requring the IFA cacluate income tax and statutory deductions from the €1m sum sought now in the most tax efficient manner that is legally permissible and pay those to the Revenue.

He also wants the IFA to issue an unconditional reference concerning his contribution to the Association and to transfer ownership of a car to him.

He wants additional orders requring the IFA issue a press statement recognising the voluntary nature of his resignation and acknowledging his contribution to it.

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