The only way to describe the land usage around Newmarket in North Cork is mixed.
The mixture has been part of the fabric of life in this corner of Munster for centuries.
Newmarket’s name in Irish is Áth Trasna — meaning “The Crossing Place” and it was this ford or crossing place that put the area firmly on the map, going back to mediaeval times.
There were few bridges during that era so the importance of the crossing place was very high and it led to the establishment of a multiple activities around a zone where traffic and trade flourished.
The present-day town owes more to the plantation-era settlements that shaped its destiny as an important market town but the diversity of activity has stayed with the area and is manifest in the local farming set-up; with some dairying, some dry beef activity, some tillage, some horse-breeding and plenty of hunting.
The mid-range quality of land here also plays its part in the shaping of the agri-scene in North Cork and in many ways, the 94-acre holding that has just come on the market with Cork-based Keane Mahony Smith is typical of a farm from this area.
Located about 5km north of Newmarket in the townland of Meengorman, this property is described by selling agent Anthony O’Regan as one that is possibly as good as you’ll get in the area.
“You’re more-or-less on the Kerry border here,” says Anthony.
“The land around here, while good, would be a long way short of the kind of land you’d find around Bandon and Kinsale or places like that.
“It’s a nice convenient holding, about 5km out the main road from Newmarket to Rockchapel.
"The public road goes through it: you have about 70 acres on one side of the road and 24 acres on the other.”
Even though the dwelling looks like a very achievable fixer-upper from the roadside, Anthony points out that it is in a very poor and ruined condition.
The various outbuildings surrounding the yard are, however, quite useful:
“The yard is very compact,” he says.
“There’s a cubicle house there with 24 cubicles and it’s perfect. There’s also a loose cattle house, a cattle crush, a collecting yard, an open silo, and a slurry pit.”
There is a central roadway going through the land, allowing very good access.
“The land on one side would be quite good. It wouldn’t be tillage land but it would be good grazing or silage land and it’s well drained.”
There are two fields on the other side of the road, comprising about 24 acres or so. This land is of lesser quality, as Anthony points out:
“That land would be no more than summer grazing. You might get a crop of hay from it if it was a good summer, but the best of the land is in the main body of it (ie, the 70-acre portion)”.
Just to the west, is the Sliabh Luachra Trail — a place of natural beauty and much traditional music.
Up to now, the farm has been used as an outside farm by a local farmer who is in the beef business and who had used the property for dairying purposes too.
Interest in the property so far has been from farmers looking to add on to their existing holdings.
The main attraction is the 70-acre portion of ground and depending on how enquiries and offers develop, this farm may end up being sold as two separate entities.
Those offers shouldn’t be too long in coming either as it is keenly priced to sell at a quoted guide price in the region of €525,000 (€5,500/acre) for a sizeable holding offering convenience and quality.
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