110-acre Co Kerry farm likely to exceed €1m at auction

The public auction on Tuesday, May 30 of a 110-acre farm located near Killarney should guarantee a sizeable turnout.

It’s rare that such a large holding comes on the market, and doubly rare that it’s going under the hammer to be sold on the day.

The property is a non-residential farm which is all in grass and located in the townland of Whitefield, approximately 17km from Killarney.

According to selling agent Tom Spillane, this is top quality land throughout.

It is well fenced and enjoys superb, panoramic views of the MacGillycuddy Reeks, and is bounded by the River Gaddagh, a tributary of the River Laune. “It really is a magnificent farm,” says Tom.

“It’s located right in the heart of good farming country as well, between Killarney and Killorglin [which is about 7km away].”

This part of the world could be regarded as the cradle of the very successful Kerry Group, now an international player on the world stage, which had its roots in Kerry Co-operative.

Strong dairying country such as exists here was the mainstay for this multinational, and the area is still dominated by the dairying sector, with a strong representation from the beef cattle sector too.

If the ‘Kerry shares’ factor is brought into play, landmark farm sales in Kerry like this one can go high, if the conditions are right.

The spin-off from Kerry Co-op shares has enriched a lot of farmers in the county, as the Group advanced to its current market capitalisation of about €12 billion, generously recompensing farmers who helped to build the company.

Whether that will happen at this auction or not remains to be seen but, according to Tom Spillane, there is already a very strong reaction to the appearance on the market of this farm, still more than a month ahead of its auction date.

“Yes, we’re already getting strong indications and we’d expect a good turnout on the day,” says Tom.

We usually bring farms of 40 or 50 acres to the market, so bringing one of this size is going to attract a lot of potential buyers.

The non-residential farm doesn’t come with any entitlements and although the farm is largely of excellent quality, there is a small proportion of it with mature trees.

“There are about ten to fifteen acres with trees on it,” says Tom, “but that only adds to its overall charm.”

Beaufort village is only 7km from this farm.

Tom says: “As one man said after narrowly missing out at the auction of land in Limerick last year, ‘Yes, it was great land, but it wasn’t Beaufort land’!”

The beauty and land quality of the area are both renowned.

Beaufort was also the site of Ireland’s first film industry in the years before the First World War, when an American production company set up home there and made a series of Irish films for the American market.

The price expectation for this farm auction is set at a relatively conservative figure of €10,000 per acre.

Tom, for his part, is not going to be too bullish about the price expectation, but he is expecting a good crowd to show up, and he’s expecting a good show of hands too.

“We’d expect that it will exceed the €1,000,000 mark,” he says.

The rarity of the commodity up for sale makes it a difficult case to predict, but if logic is anything to go by, then it could be closer to €1.3 million on the day.

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