Situated 8.5km north of Midleton, 10km northwest of Dungourney and 5km from Ballincurrig, a 358-acre residential farm in the townland of Walshtown is sure to attract hot interest, as much for its size as for its quality.
“It’s a genuine farm,” says selling agent Dominic Daly of Cork, who is joint agent along with Mike Brady of the Brady Group. “It’s not forestry, it’s a working farm.”
The farm comes with entitlements that are believed to be worth in the region of €45,000 per annum.
“One of the main advantages of this farm is the size of the block,” says joint agent Mike Brady of The Brady Group, also in Cork City.
“In the Cork area at least, it’s as rare as hens’ teeth.”
When one thinks of properties of more than 200 acres, it’s usually with forestry in mind. The last large Munster holding featured on these pages was a 937-acre property, on March 10 last.
That was a forestry holding in Co Kerry, split into numerous parcels. Before that, the largest holding was a 185-acre dairy farm at Carrigeen Hall, Conna — only 17km away from this farm.
The farm, which is being sold with the goodwill of the current owners, includes three farmyards. This would make it an ideal holding to be split into different lots.
That eventuality is not being ruled out by the joint agents, but the plan for the moment is to sell it in one lot.
“It’s got a hell of a lot of road frontage,” says Dominic, “and a great southerly aspect.”
The dwelling — a traditional two-storey house in need of some refurbishment — is set slightly apart on its own three-acre parcel.
It has a collection of old stone outbuildings set around a farmyard. The other two yards contain a series of useful outbuildings that have adequately served the needs of the farming activity carried out there over the years.
The overall land quality is described by Dominic as “pretty good”, with the qualifier that there are sections which were a little bit neglected over the years.
The land has been put to a number of farming uses, principally as a dry cattle holding.
This variety reflects the pattern in the area, with this zone renowned for high quality land and a spread of farming activity, including dairy, tillage and equestrian activity.
Very close by are two well-known equine personages in the form of jockey Paul Townend and racehorse trainer Donie Murphy, while champion horse breeders, the Healys and Colman O’Flynn, are also nearby.
For a dairy farmer, this size of grazing block would surely be tempting, although there is quite a bit of capital investment (such as a milking parlour, additional roadways and paddocks) to be undergone before one could set up a viable dairying operation here.
“It will be interesting to test the market,” says Mike. “Since the price of milk has turned the corner, we’ve had a bit more enquiries looking at dairying enterprise.
“It’s good and dry, and it has grown grain in the past, but I would consider it more suitable for growing grass. Over the years, it hasn’t been intensively farmed.”
There are some enquiries already, even though the property has only just been placed on the market.
This is a farm that will bring out purchasers that have been awaiting such an opportunity to arise for some time, as well as those perhaps looking at smaller divisions.
How much value they place on it, and how many contenders there will be, will determine the price.
Expectations are conservatively put at “in excess of €3m”, which strikes a realistic note. But with signs of milk price recovery, it may be entering the market at an opportune time.
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