IFA says Pat Smith’s offer to give half disputed exit package to charity is ‘spin’

Former General Secretary of the IFA Pat Smith has said that half of his exit package – which is being challenged by the IFA – should be given to charity.

In a statement released today (Thursday) Smith said the lump €1m sum should be given to charity. However, the IFA has said that the money is not his to give away.

Smith received €543,634 in 2013 and in 2014 he received €452,484 including salary, directors fees, and bonuses and pension.

Downey approved the €2m exit package for Smith on his own, a move that when made public saw his demise and his resignation from his role as IFA President.

In the statement, Smith said he is extremely saddened at the events of the past week which has left many families hurt and especially the family of IFA where he spent over 25 years working.

According to Smith, the severence package agreed represented approximately six weeks’ redundancy pay for each year worked for the Association and fulfilled on legal committments he and other staff have in relation to pension shortfalls following the closure of the Defined Benefit scheme.

It goes on to say that Smith believes the deal done was fair in the context of his work and delivery for the Association for over 25 years and the reality of what happened.

“However he has no intention of lowering himself and getting into a brawl with an organisation that is currently in turmoil and incapable of dealing with any matter fairly.

“Therefore Pat Smith is asking that IFA stand good to its deal and pay his €1m severence to charity before Christmas in equal amounts to Self Help Africa and St.Vincent de Paul.”

However, the IFA has responded saying the move by Smith was ‘total spin’.

The unapproved package included: a €2m severance, broken down into €1m now and €1m over 10 years paid through IFA.

“This is a total spin. Pat Smith demanded €2m. He is trying to cover it up.”

The IFA statement went on to say that Smith didn’t stand down, but was in effect, fired.

“In fairness to our former President, Eddie Downey knew the man had to go. He had to get him out. The IFA Council has rightly disowned this package.

“The Council is the Governing Body of IFA and we will fight his severance claim all the way.

“On transparency, it is Pat Smith who didn’t want to submit to transparency over his salary. That is totally unacceptable.

“Pat Smith’s letter was read to the Council, contrary to his claims.”

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