Irish Farmers' Association

Irish Farmers' Association
Native name Feirmeoirí Aontaithe na hÉireann
Founded 1955
Members 85,000
Key people Joe Healy, President
(vacant), General Secretary
Bryan Barry, Assistant General Secretary, Michael Treacy, European Director, Kevin Kinsella, Livestock Director, Catherine Lascurettes, Dairy Executive Secretary.
Office location Irish Farm Centre, Bluebell, Dublin
Country Ireland

The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) (Irish: Feirmeoirí Aontaithe na hÉireann) is a national organisation to represent the interests of all sectors of farming in Ireland.


It was founded in January 1955 as the National Farmers Association (NFA), aiming to lead Irish farmers out of the depression and deprivation which had dominated rural Ireland for decades.

The NFA merged in the 1960s with four smaller organisations representing specific sectors (including Leinster Milk Producers (now Fresh Milk Producers), beet growers and horticulture) to form the Irish Farmers Association – the IFA.

In the 1972 referendum on Irish membership of the European Economic Community, the IFA campaigned for a "yes" vote, seeking access to European markets and higher prices for agricultural produce.

The IFA's head office is at the Irish Farm Centre, in Bluebell, Dublin. It also maintains 12 regional offices and an office in Brussels.

Salary controversy

In November 2015 Eddie Downey (President) and Pat Smith (General Secretary) resigned following controversy over salaries. Mr Smith's salary in 2013 had been €535,000. He resigned on 18 November. A week later members of the organisation's national executive council were informed that Mr Smith had been given a €2m severance payment and €2.7m pension. Eddie Downey admitted he had signed off this agreement, and resigned. Downey was earning €147,000 a year plus €50,000 in add-ons when he resigned.[1]

The IFA confirmed that former IFA chief economist Con Lucey — who had attempted to raise concerns over financial issues and transparency before quitting under duress in 2014 — would oversee a review of salaries and expenses.

List of Presidents

Name Year Origin
Juan Greene 1955–1962 County Kildare
Rickard Deasy 1962–1967 County Tipperary
T. J. Maher 1967–1976 County Tipperary
Paddy Lane 1976–1980 County Clare
Donal Cashman 1980–1984 County Cork
Joe Rea 1984–1988 County Tipperary
Tom Clinton 1988–1990 County Meath
Alan Gillis 1990–1994 County Kildare
John Donnelly 1994–1998 County Galway
Tom Parlon 1998–2002 County Offaly
John Dillon 2002–2006 County Limerick
Padraig Walshe[2] 2006–2010 County Laois
John Bryan[3] 2010–2014 County Kilkenny
Eddie Downey 2014–2015 County Meath


  1. Ó Cionnaith, Fiachra (26 November 2015). "Eddie Downey resigns as IFA face multi-million euro legal pay battle". Today's Stories. Cork. Irish Examiner. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  2. "Walshe elected as IFA president". RTÉ News. 20 December 2005. Retrieved 21 December 2009.
  3. "Bryan elected IFA president". RTÉ News. 21 December 2009. Retrieved 21 December 2009.

External links

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