The IFA’s Executive Council is currently gathering in Portlaoise for an emergency meeting in the wake of yesterday’s shock resignation of its General Secretary, Pat Smith.

His resignation comes following calls from grassroot members of the IFA and a senior member of the organisation to make known to its Executive Council the salary of key management personnel including that of Mr Smith.

This week has seen allegations that Smith’s position came with a package in excess of €400,000-a-year.

It’s likely discussions at the meeting will centre on the resignation of Smith as well as calls from grassroot members for more transparency surrounding the pay of high-ranking officials in the IFA.

The Executive Council is the national governing body of the IFA, bringing together the County Chairmen, National Committee Chairmen and National Officers under the leadership of the President who chairs its meetings.

The Council’s role is in devising IFA strategy and providing the engine for policy and delivery.

The IFA governing body has 53 members and a strong democratic mandate.

It is comprised of the President, six other National Officers and 29 County Chairmen.

There are additional representatives from Kerry and Galway as these counties have more than twice the average county membership.

It also compromises of 12 National Committee Chairmen, one additional Livestock representative, Macra na Feirme President and General Secetary.

The National Pigs and Poultry Committees have shared representation on the Executive Council while the Horticulture/Potato Committees also share a seat.

The Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal and the President of ICOS are non-voting observer members.