14 members of Kerry IFA stage protest outside branch office

Around 14 members of the Kerry branch of the Irish Farmers Association held a protest outside the organisation’s Tralee office earlier.

The group, who demonstrated for around an hour, say they are seeking to view the financial accounts of the Kerry branch of IFA.

A former national treasurer previously said IFA was willing to open the books for inspection to any member of Kerry IFA.

Last December, around nine of 65 branches of Kerry IFA bought motions to the meeting of the county executive seeking for the books and accounts of Kerry IFA to be opened for inspection.

Then National Treasurer Jer Bergin told the meeting IFA was willing to open the books for inspection to any member of Kerry IFA.

The accounts for Kerry IFA for the year ending March 2017 were approved unanimously at the Annual General Meeting on February 20th.

A statement from the IFA said if a request is made to the Director General of the IFA the books of Kerry IFA will be made available in line with IFA rule 71b.

Michael Kirby from Ardfert who previously ran for Chairman of Kerry IFA was among the farmers protesting and said they didn’t take the action lightly.

Mr Kirby said they feel they have been given the run-around by the IFA on this issue and that IFA rules have been flouted.

He said this was brought to a head by the 1.9-million-euro settlement to former IFA general secretary Pat Smith which seemingly didn’t merit an apology to the ordinary member on the ground whose hard-earned money was being spent willy-nilly.

Mr Kirby believes the ball is now in Chair of Kerry IFA Pat O’Driscoll’s court to bring the sentiments of the nine branches to the Rules and Privileges Committee.