IFA to publish internal audit of pay and pensions

Report expected to reveal extent of executive remuneration dating back to 2009

The executive council of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) will meet on Tuesday to examine the findings of an internal report on pay and pensions amid fresh calls for some or all of the group’s remaining board members to resign. The IFA has been engulfed in controversy since the high-profile departures of its former general secretary Pat Smith and president Eddie Downey (above). Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

The executive council of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) will meet on Tuesday to examine the findings of an internal report on pay and pensions amid fresh calls for some or all of the group’s remaining board members to resign. The IFA has been engulfed in controversy since the high-profile departures of its former general secretary Pat Smith and president Eddie Downey (above). Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

 

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) is to publish in full the findings of an internal report on pay and pensions.

The review conducted by former IFA chief economist Con Lucey is expected to reveal the extent of executive remuneration dating back to 2009.

Mr Lucey is presenting his report to a meeting of the organisation’s executive council at the IFA headquarters in Bluebell in Dublin.

The IFA has been engulfed in controversy since the high-profile departures of its former general secretary Pat Smith and president Eddie Downey.

Mr Smith was forced to resign last month after it was revealed he was being paid a total salary and pension packet of half a million euros in 2013 and 2014.

Mr Downey followed him out of the organisation after it emerged he signed off on a € 2 million severance package for Mr Smith.

Amid the ongoing crisis, Mr Lucey was last month commissioned to conduct an audit of pay and governance within the IFA.

Mr Lucey had resigned from the IFA’s audit committee last year, citing unwarranted interference by Mr Smith .

Tuesday’s executive council meeting will also have to deal with 11 motions calling on all or some of the remaining board to stand down in the wake of the pay scandal.

A further 18 county executives have deferred making a decision on the fate of the current board until after Mr Lucey’s review.

Last month, the council unanimously voted not to pay Mr Smith his controversial severance package.

However, Mr Smith has initiated legal proceedings against his former organisation in an effort to secure the money.

Lawyers for Mr Smith have lodged a “specific performance” case which alleges that the IFA breached the severance agreement, which comprised €1 million upfront and €100,000 annually for 10 years.

In legal letters sent to the organisation earlier this month, Mr Smith also claims he was defamed by suggestions that he was “fired” as a result of the pay controversy.