North Cork IFA has unanimously agreed to ask the IFA national council to revisit the pay increases awarded to the association’s leadership.

Last week, the IFA announced that president Tim Cullinan’s salary would increase from €120,000 to €140,000 and that its director general Damian McDonald’s salary would increase by almost €31,000 to €215,998, following a review by the IFA’s remuneration committee.

At a meeting of 120 North Cork IFA members on Tuesday night a motion was put forward by former presidential candidate John Coughlan and seconded by drystock farmer Pat Mullins.

Several other farmers present supported the motion and agreed that the salary increases should be revisited.

Farmers ‘disgusted’

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, John Coughlan said: “I don’t believe that increase should have been given. I was disgusted when I saw it.”

Coughlan said that a “weakness” has crept into the IFA national council and that the pay issue has to be addressed. He said farmers on the ground are “disgusted” with what’s happened at a time when IFA leadership “hasn’t delivered anything” and “the minister is getting a free ride”.

Former North Cork IFA chair Anne Baker said the salary increases are a “bad reflection on how the organisation isn’t in touch with the grass roots”.

“The [pay] increases are another knife in the gut for those of us who are struggling. It’s not the time and it’s not deserved,” Baker said.

The motion was not opposed and it is understood it will be addressed at the IFA national council’s May meeting.

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