Young farmer pays €910,000 for impressive Birr house and 90 acres

Although it looks like it was built in the 1800s, this house at Carrig, Birr, Co Offaly, was actually designed and constructed in the 1980s by a well known local architect.

Young farmer pays €910,000 for impressive Birr house and 90 acres

And, according to auctioneer John Ryan, it’s one of the best designed houses he’s been in — and that’s with many properties under his belt.

But the house, for all its qualities, was only a sideshow to the main event, the auction of the 90-acre tillage and grazing farm on which the house sits, that took place last week.

There was a huge response on the day, said John Ryan, who added they only put out 50 chairs for the auction, but in the heel of the hunt, had 20 more and it was still standing room only.

And with the scene set and a tremendous atmosphere, he opened the sale at a cool million, but dropped down in the hundreds of thousands until he finally got a bid at €600,000.

This was than increased in €20,000s by five bidders until the flurry reached a standstill at €780,000 at which stage the agent adjourned.

His return to the podium saw another short volley of bids, bringing the property to €860,000, at which stage it was put on the market and the last sally, between two bidders saw the property reach €910,000, at which stage the hammer fell and it was sold to a young, local farmer, John Brennan and his fiancee.

The underbidder was also local, but as Ryan says, victor and vanquished shook hands following the auction.

The sale of the house and lands was held jointly with Nigel Craughwell of Craughwell Auctioneers.

The farm, while in one block, does have limited road frontage, but is bounded by a fast running stream on one side and comes with a mix of older outbuildings and a modern hayshed and yard.

More in this section


Keep up-to-date with all the latest developments in Farming with our weekly newsletter

Sign up

Our Covid-free newsletter brings together some of the best bits from, as chosen by our editor, direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up