Speaking on RTÉ's Six One News, Tim O'Leary said Pat Smith "was fired because he was no longer able to carry out his duties because of the serious controversy around his position and rumours around his salary". The official line that emerged from the IFA following a meeting of the emergency executive council last week was that Pat Smith resigned.
Whether he resigned or was fired, Pat Smith left the role before details of his remuneration emerged. The figures were later revealed as €535,000 in 2013 and over €400,000 in 2014.
This was followed by the resignation of former president of the IFA Eddie Downey on Wednesday 25 November, following revelations that Smith secured a severance package worth €2m from the former president. The package comprises a €1m upfront payment followed by a €100,000 payment every year for 10 years. Soon after details of the package emerged, the IFA executive council said it would fight the payment in court.
Speaking on RTÉ's News At One earlier today, O’Leary said he was not aware of the size of the settlement under discussion. He said he became aware of it afterwards.
It has since emerged that Pat Smith has said he would like his €1 million severance payment lump sum to be given to two charities. In a statement, Smith said the package represented approximately six weeks redundancy pay for each year worked for the association and fulfilled legal commitments he and other staff have in relation to pension shortfalls.
However, he said he has no intention of "getting into a brawl" with the organisation over the payment and has asked the IFA to "stand good to its deal" and pay the €1m in equal amounts to two charities - Self Help Africa and the Society of St Vincent de Paul. What Smith intends to do with the other €1m, which comes in the form of a €100,000 payment every year for next 10 years, is not clear.
Acting president Tim O'Leary also confirmed today that he is going to run for the position of IFA president.