Full resignation letter from Eddie Downey

Eddie Downey’s full resignation speech – released by IFA at 21.00 on Wednesday night. 

“I am today announcing my resignation as President of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

This is very difficult decision for me and I am doing so in the best interests of the Association which I have served for over 25 years.

Over those years, I have dedicated myself to working in the best interests of farmers and the organisation and I hope that my commitment and record of achievement in working on behalf of Irish farmers and Irish agriculture speaks for itself. 

In taking on the role of President of IFA, I did so on the same terms of all Presidents who have had the honour of serving in this role before me.  I made no demands or requests that I be treated any differently to former holders of the office.  My sole interest and motivation in taking on the onerous role as President of IFA was to work tirelessly and be judged by my record of delivery for Irish farmers here and in Brussels.

I have always demanded the highest levels of governance and accountability within IFA and my clear understanding was that governance and management of IFA was a clear function and responsibility of the senior executive leadership with oversight from elected officers. 

It is well known that I was determined to be a reforming President. In that regard I worked to get the Audit Committee up and working, met with Con Lucey and agreed with his proposed solutions to issues to be addressed by that Committee. Unfortunately, that Committee’s work was frustrated.

In the interests of continuing to have a strong voice and representation for Irish farmers and the agricultural sector, it is essential that Con Lucey now gets the opportunity and backing from Executive Council and staff, together with the space by ordinary farmer members of the IFA, to complete his work comprehensively. 

In resigning as IFA President I am conscious of the enormous support I have had from family, friends, supporters and members throughout the country in my term as President and throughout the numerous roles I have held previously within the Association. 

I also wish to acknowledge the support of the hard working and dedicated staff in IFA who I hold in the highest regard.

Finally, I would ask for privacy for myself and my family at this extremely difficult time.”

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