The salary of former general secretary of the Irish Farmers' Association has been revealed at a meeting of the organisation's executive council in Portlaoise.

Pat Smith stepped down from the role yesterday following controversy over his remuneration.

The Irish Farmers Journal is reporting that IFA President Eddie Downey told the meeting that Mr Smith was paid a total salary of €445,000 in 2014.

This comprised a basic salary of €295,000 as well as a €150,000 pension contribution.

In 2013, Mr Smith's salary total salary was €535,000.

This comprised of the above payments, as well as a €60,000 bonus payment and a €30,000 director's fee for Mr Smith's role with IFA Telecom.

A company car was also included in both years.

Earlier, the IFA's Carlow County Chairman, Derek Deane, said there needs to be transparency on the issue.

Speaking to RTÉ's News at One, he said there needs to be a period of reflection within the association to ensure this does not happen again, adding that the association needs a major shake-up.

Mr Downey said the Executive Council had a full debate on the future of IFA and what needs to change.

Referring to Mr Smith's pay, Mr Downey said: "This was not sustainable and unacceptable.

"Going forward, the remuneration package of the IFA General Secretary will be disclosed and will be a matter of public record in the annual accounts," he added.

The IFA Executive Council ratified Bryan Barry as acting General Secretary and Chief Executive of the Association.

The IFA President confirmed that the Executive Council of the organisation has established a strengthened Remuneration Committee that is in line with best corporate governance practice. 

Mr Downey said IFA will be finalising its General Election manifesto in the coming weeks and this will be presented to political parties and independents in the run-up to the election in the spring.

"IFA has important business to attend to on behalf of our farmer members and we will be devoting our resources and efforts to achieving the best outcome for farmers. 

This now provides us with the opportunity to move forward in the best interests of the organisation and the membership, which is the cornerstone of the IFA."

In a statement before resigning yesterday, Mr Smith said the IFA was bigger than any one person and he had decided to put the best interests of the organisation to the fore.

Pressure has been mounting on the association to reveal Mr Smith's annual pay package, amid reports that it was in excess of €400,000.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, Mr Smith said: "It has been a great honour and privilege to work with IFA for the past 25 years.

"I want to wish IFA and the voluntary officers well and I would like to thank the dedicated staff for their loyalty and commitment during my time in IFA." 

Call for all salaries to be made public

This morning, Roscommon-South Leitrim TD Michael Fitzmaurice said all salaries in all farm organisations must be made public following the resignation.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, the independent TD said that it did not add up to have a salary of more than €400,000 in an organisation with a turnover of €12m.

Mr Fitzmaurice said there had been a lot of disquiet in the farming community and "something had to happen".

He also called for IFA President Eddie Downey to "take the bull by the horns" and be transparent about remuneration.