Actions settled between IFA and former Secretary-General Pat Smith

Mr Smith was terminated by agreement in November 2015

Actions settled between IFA and former Secretary-General Pat Smith

Pat Smith is pictured in 2009 | Image: James Horan/RollingNews.ie

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) has reached a settlement with its former Secretary-General Pat Smith for €1.9m.

The settlement comes ahead of a High Court case which was due to get underway next week.

Mr Smith worked for the organisation for 26 years and was chief executive for seven years until he resigned amid a pay controversy in late-2015.

He took two cases against the IFA - one relating to his severance package and one alleging he was defamed.

The IFA has now agreed to pay €1.55m in respect of the severance package and €350,000 in relation to the defamation.

An agreed statement read in the High Court said: "IFA and Pat Smith confirm that both sets of legal proceedings taken by Mr Smith namely, the action for breach of contract in relation to the terms of his departure from the IFA and a separate defamation action relating to statements and comments made subsequent to his departure, have been settled.

"Mr Smith was employed by the Irish Farmers Association for more than 26 years and was chief executive for nearly seven years until his employment terminated by agreement in November 2015.

"IFA accepts that Mr Smith was a highly effective, hardworking and dedicated executive of the association who provided solid and professional leadership for farmers and the Association.

"IFA accepts that it made certain statements in the media at the time which were defamatory of Mr Smith and regrets the damage caused to his reputation.

"IFA wishes Pat Smith and his family the very best for the future."