IFA begins recruitment process to replace former boss Pat Smith
Farmers’ group seeks candidates for post of director general or chief executive officer
Former IFA head Pat Smith: The IFA said it was seeking candidates for the post of director general or chief executive officer. The change of title for the group’s top-ranked executive appears to be an attempt to draw a line under Mr Smith’s troubled tenure. Photograph: Eric Luke
Eight months after the head of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) left in a blaze of controversy, the organisation has begun the recruitment process to replace its former boss Pat Smith.
In an advert placed in today’s Irish Times, the IFA said it was seeking candidates for the post of director general or chief executive officer.
The change of title for the group’s top-ranked executive appears to be an attempt to draw a line under Mr Smith’s troubled tenure in charge.
The recruitment notice makes no mention of salary, which will be decided by an internal remuneration committee that will not include the successful candidate.
Mr Smith had served for six years as the group’s general secretary and de facto boss before resigning last November when details of his half a million euro salary caused an outcry among grass-root members.
ControversyHis departure and the ensuing controversy over his €2 million severance package engulfed the organisation in the worst crisis of its 60-year history and precipitated the exit of then president Eddie Downey.
The controversy has still not entirely blown over with Mr Smith intending High Court action against the IFA over his severance package, which has been withheld.
The group’s new president, Joe Healy, has sought to distance himself and the organisation from the episode.
The IFA has also beefed up its internal governance protocols in relation to pay and pensions, pledging to be more open with members about its remuneration practices.