IFA President Eddie Downey under continued pressure from members to resign

IFA President Eddie Downey is coming under continued pressure from IFA grassroots members in the wake of the resignation of Pat Smith.

His position as the President of the IFA is untenable, according to Philip Kinane of Tipperary IFA.

Speaking on RTE radio, the former Chairman of Tipperary IFA said the IFA President is in a very difficult position, following the resignation of IFA General Secretary Pat Smith.

“I’m sure he’s considering the situation and he’ll do whatever is best for the organisation. I think his position is untenable.

“I’ve been getting various views from people at this time.

“A very difficult situation has developed over last number of days, there are individuals, wives and families involved.

“Members have lost trust and lost the faith. I’ve been taking calls from farmers and non-members since the pay [of General Secretary Pat Smith] was revealed,” he said.

Kinane said that Eddie Downey is a decent, honourable man and that he will do the right thing for the organisation.

This was landed on Eddie’s desk, I believe he didn’t know the figure the General Secretary was getting.

“Possibly he should have been informed by the General Secretary,” he said.

Kinane said that the lack of openness and transparency is what has caused the problem.

“The shock of discovering the figure was a large part of this, the fact it was released in dramatic circumstances,” he said.

The Tipperary IFA man said that when someone with the calibre of Con Lucey resigned, it should have been a massive red flag and that it should have been acted upon.

Poll: 73% say Eddie Downey should resign

Meanwhile, 73% of respondents to an Agriland poll have said that IFA President Eddie Downey should resign in the wake of the IFA pay scandal.

In a poll that ran over the weekend, 27% of respondents voted that the IFA President should not resign on the back of the revelation that the salary of the former Secretary General of the IFA was €535,000 in total for 2013.

Eddie Downey

On Friday night, after the extraordinary IFA meeting in Portlaoise, the IFA Eyrecourt branch in Galway has also called for IFA President Eddie Downey to resign.

The motion will now go through to Galway county branch AGM – which has not set a date to meet yet.

Galway Chairman Pat Murphy told Agriland earlier this week that farmers in Galway were more interested in cattle prices and the genomics scheme than Pat Smith’s pay package.

However, a senior Eyrecourt member contacted Agriland on Saturday to say it held its AGM on Friday – hours after the Portlaoise meeting.

Members said it was unacceptable that Eddie Downey was aware of the pay package of its General Secretary and that he should now resign.

Please be considerate of others when commenting. All comments posted are subject to our commenting policy. Comments violating this policy will be removed without notice.