Downey says he had approval from ‘others’ for Pat Smith’s €2m exit deal

Former IFA President Eddie Downey has said that he did not act on his own in agreeing a €2m severance package with the now former IFA General Secretary, Pat Smith.

Speaking on RTE Radio this morning he said the ‘facts were misrepresented‘ surrounding the deal and said he felt the organisation had let him down.

Crucially, Downey said that he ‘did not act on his own‘. He said he had ‘legal advice’ and ’employment law is very strong in this area’.

Downey said he could not comment on what happened ‘inside the room’ but said he got agreement from ‘others’ for the deal. However, he said enough reputational damage had been done to him and he was not prepared to start ‘naming names’.

Mr Downey was speaking for the first time since he stood down as the President of the IFA. Last week, it was revealed that the IFA is to challenge the exit package agreed with Pat Smith, a move which the former President Eddie Downey said this morning that he hopes the organisation is ‘successful’ in.

The news of Smith’s exit package came after a day of intensive talks in IFA HQ last week as its Executive Council meet to discuss the ongoing crisis surrounding the Association.

The meeting was told by the acting General Secretary, Bryan Barry of the details of Pat Smith’s exit package and a vote was taken to challenge the package.

It also heard that Pat Smith’s exit package was agreed by IFA President Eddie Downey alone and that that other current members of the remuneration committee were not part of the final decision surrounding Smith’s exit package.

Smith’s exit package was confirmed to be a €1m lump sum and €100,000 every year for 10 years.