Monday 19 February 2018

IFA returns to court over pay dispute with former chief

Stock photo
Stock photo
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

The ongoing legal battle between the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) and its former secretary general Pat Smith will come back before the High Court next month.

Both sides had agreed to mediation as they tried to resolve the row over Mr Smith's exit from the country's largest farmer lobby group in 2015 amid speculation and pressure around his salary.

It is understood this has stalled in recent weeks and the cases taken by Mr Smith's solicitors are due before the High Court for procedural matters in October. However, a spokesman for the IFA insisted: "Efforts to resolve this matter are ongoing."

Mr Smith, who had worked with the representative body for 25 years, declined to comment.

A report was carried out for the IFA after the controversy showed Mr Smith had received a total pay package of €307,000 and a pension contribution of €145,000 in 2015. Mr Smith has brought two legal challenges against the IFA, including seeking orders for the payment of a €2m severance package. In addition, it is understood that he alleges he was defamed by the IFA and brought proceedings for damages.

Irish Independent

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