The Irish Farmers' Association has confirmed that the money it has agreed to pay in legal settlements to its former general secretary Pat Smith amounts to €1.9m.

Included in this is €1.55m in payments related to the severance of his service in 2015, as well as €350,000 for defamation.

In a joint statement issued by the IFA and Mr Smith on foot of the settlement, the IFA said it accepted that Mr Smith was a highly effective, hardworking and dedicated executive of the association who provided solid and professional leadership for farmers and the association.

The IFA also said it accepted that it made certain statements in the media at the time that were defamatory of Mr Smith and regretted the damage caused to his reputation.

Mr Smith was employed by the Irish Farmers' Association for more than 26 years and was chief executive for nearly seven years until his employment terminated by agreement in November 2015.

His resignation came on foot of a crisis over high levels of pay at the top of the organisation that became public in November 2015.

It was revealed that Mr Smith had been paid a total of almost €3.5m over a six-year period between 2009 and 2015.

The average annual amount he was paid during that period in pay pensions and bonuses amounted to €492,000.

The highest amount received was €542,000 in 2013.

The fallout from the crisis at the IFA caused consternation in farming circles.

It plunged the organisation into a crisis, resulted in the resignation of its then-president Eddie Downey.

It also led to a significant loss in membership subscriptions from farmers all over the country, many of whom resigned from the organisation in disgust at such high levels of pay.