The IFA General Secretary Pat Smith said he is looking forward to dealing with questions around his role as General Secretary of the organisation.

In recent weeks, the General Secretary has come under pressure from grassroot members in a number county branches over the organisations its policies and his role in handling key issues in 2014, culminating in a motion of censure at today’s AGM.

Pat Smith has said that he is looking forward to the AGM and defending his leadership.

“I think as an organisation we are continuously challenged by our membership and rightly so.

“That’s a great driving force in IFA – that we have a democratic structure with elected voluntary officers that sit on committees, that sit on County Executives and I think we have a book on reports and anyone can go through them and looks at the record of deliver of this Association last year can be proud of the absolute commitment of the voluntary officers and staff who are trying to deliver what can be delivered.

“Resolutions come and they have to be and will be addressed and I’m looking forward to it.”

In recent weeks, some IFA members expressed the view that the policies implemented in relation to last year’s beef crisis, the new GLAS scheme and the 2014 malting barley price structure failed in their purpose.

Mr Smith was the guest speaker at this week’s IFA County AGM in Limerick, after his presence on the night was specifically requested as a result of concerns in relation to his performance that had been expressed through the county’s branch network.