70-acre farm near famed ambush site in Shanagashel, Co Cork

West Cork evokes a lot of different aspects for many people — the landscape, the other-worldliness of the location… even the variation of the land quality.

70-acre farm near famed ambush site in Shanagashel, Co Cork

Generally speaking, land gets less sought-after the further west you go but the peculiarity about West Cork is that there are always hidden gems in there.

In between the unforgiving rocks and the raised bogs, there’s always treasure to be found.

Then there is the history. No matter what side of the fence you’ve grown up on, it’s very difficult not to speak of West Cork during the dark days of the War of Independence without getting your pulse racing.

With the centenary of the 1916 Rising, a lot of those passions are coming to the surface.

The latest offering from Drimoleague-based auctioneers Lehanes & Associates is bang in the middle of it all.

It’s a 70-acre farm located in the townland of Shanacashel, near Kilmichael, Macroom. Anyone knowing something of the War of Independence will be familiar with the name Kilmichael.

Sure enough, there are two monuments attributed to important actions carried out by the West Cork Flying Column of Tom Barry during this conflict, both of them within a short distance of the farm entrance.

The main one is the Kilmichael Ambush, which resulted in the deaths of 17 members of the Auxillary Cadets.

The other incident in the area was the same Tom Barry managing to break out of an encirclement where his 100-or-so men were surrounded by an estimated 1,300 British troops.

The monument to the Kilmichael Ambush is within a very short walk of the entrance to this farm — a property that is brand new to the market — well fenced all around and which is presented all in one block.

“The farmhouse itself is in need of total refurbishment,” says Daniel Lehane. “There’s a selection of old stone buildings behind that as well.”

As for the land, the agent describes it as being of “mixed” quality.

“The better part of the land is to the front of the farmhouse and to the north of the farmhouse. There are about 15 or 16 acres of better quality grazing ground there.

“The balance would be typically the kind of land that would be more suitable for forestry. There are pockets here and there that are good — there are pockets at the northern end that could be reclaimed and improved to make good land.”

A block of land of this size is going to interest anyone thinking of simply increasing their holding. After that, a lot depends on the quality of what’s existing and the potential of it.

There is also the increasing market in forestry to consider, not to mention the hobby farmer who dreams of such an opportunity — idyllic rural location with a farmhouse right in the middle of some sizeable acreage.

“You have an active forestry area on the actual bounds ditch,” says Daniel, “so, it’s an area that would be quite suitable for planting as well.”

Location is about 17km south of Macroom and 50km from Cork city, and there’s adequate water supply on the land too.

At around €3,000 per acre, it’s not going to hang around the market for too long. This is land in one block at a level that keeps all options open for the variant interested market; whether it ends up being developed and used as farm land or a forestry plantation.

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