Although the selling agents, Dick Barry & Sons, reveal nothing more than cautious optimism about a forthcoming auction of an 80-acre farm near Watergrasshill in East Cork, this is surely going to be a major event, when the holding at Coneybeg goes under the hammer at the Vienna Woods Hotel, Glanmire, on May 29 at 3pm.
The farm is a residential holding, and even though the bungalow was built in the 1960s and is in need of renovation, its presence means this farm will be of interest not only to a large number of farmers, but also to those with pockets deep enough and aspirations of living the good life on a large hobby farm within striking distance of Cork City.
The land doesn’t hold any development potential, even though it enjoys almost suburban access to the Southern capital. According to selling agent Michael Barry, this holding is in a prime agricultural area, and it will remain so for the foreseeable future.
“It’s strictly agricultural. It would be too far out, and there aren’t any services. There wouldn’t be any future development potential in a lifetime.”
It is, however, in a superb agricultural area, one with great access to large urban markets, a motorway network, sea ports and airports.
Watergrasshill is 5km north-east of the farm, while Cork’s city centre lies just 13km to the south-west.
“It’s just off the old N8 [now the R639],” says Michael. “It’s on the Cork side of Watergrasshill, less than five minutes from Glanmire. The location of it would be very good in relation to the city. It’s in a very good area with very easy access to Cork.”
As for the quality of the land, Michael says that it is very good, with the exception of one area representing roughly 10% of the overall acreage.
“There are close to 81 acres altogether,” he says, “and the majority of it would be very good land, but there’s a small bit of it in need of reclamation, maybe eight acres or so that needs to be tidied up. The land is very firm, and what’s not firm can be made sound.”
The dwelling is a four-bedroom bungalow that was built in 1965, according to the selling agents: “It’s in need of refurbishment, but the house has a value too.
The farm comes with entitlements. The EU Single Farm Payment is currently worth €9,001 per annum.
The outbuildings, meanwhile, include a four-column hay shed with lean-to; an older three-column shed and lean-to with cattle crush; and other, stone outbuildings.
These are old buildings that are useful but not modern, say the selling agents.
The farm has road access from two sides also, making the land easy to work.
According to Michael, the price guide is set at €12,000 per acre.
“It’s very hard to know with an auction. There’s a good level of enquiries all right, but you never know until the day just what level of interest there is out there.
There will certainly be a good turnout for this executor sale and, if the conditions are right, a strong price should be set.