The 298-acre Graigue House farm at Shanballymore, near Mallow, Co Cork, was launched on the market during the Celtic Tiger boom in late 2004.
By early 2005 it was under negotiation, and was confirmed as sold for close to, or beyond, €4 million in early 2006.
The farm was flagged as the largest farm sale in the county when it first appeared and, now, with a mini-boom in farm land, it is now back on the market carrying a guide price of €3m — and with the addition of an extra 50 acres or so.
It’s a good time to sell, because agricultural property is in high demand, and the benchmark for economic value has been left behind in a rush to grab acreage before possible CAP changes.
And where safer than top quality farm land for mattress money — receipts of the boom that have yet to find a safe home?
A number of high net-worth individuals are in the market for large, productive farms, according to the seasoned agents.
The Shanballymore property is the former home of the Comber family who sold to an undisclosed buyer believed to be a property developer at the height of the boom.
The farm was purchased through Eamonn O’Brien of CCM, and the property had been listed through auctioneer Christy Buckley at the time.
The location makes it very accessible, the farm is just off the N72, the main Mallow-Mitchelstown, road and is almost equidistant to Mallow, Fermoy and Mitchelstown, says Micheal O’Donovan of Sherry FitzGerald O’Donovan, who is selling the property by private treaty.
The tillage and grazing farm is in two large blocks — a home farm of 193 acres, and a second farm of 105 acres half a mile away at Ballintlea South. Both farms are level, fertile, with excellent tillage ground.
The second farm has had part of its land used for tree planting in the past, but this has been cleared recently. Also, the home farm had been used as a dairy enterprise at one stage and there is a 38,000-gallons milk quota available, and an old milking parlour — so it could appeal to milkers looking to move to a larger enterprise.
According to Micheal O’Donovan, it’s a choice property, and offers a fine, period home at its centre, along with a range of farm buildings, some modern and in good condition, and older, stone outhouses which form a large courtyard to the rear of the main house.
A large, five-bay property with basement, it’s said to date from 1799, but has been carefully maintained over the years, and was purchased by the Comber family in 1917. They farmed the land up to retirement in the noughties.
The house is quite impressive as it stands, but with some investment could be developed into a very impressive country home.
The property has two formal reception rooms at either side of an entrance hallway, and at the rear offers a kitchen and guest bathroom on the ground floor (as well as a large basement) and six bedrooms over the two floors.
Graigue House sits at the end of a tree-lined driveway, set amid mature timber, which shelters and shields the house from the farmyard.
This comes with a garage, loose boxes, a tack room and other ancillary rooms, as well as a large machinery shed, a silage pit with haybarn and lean-tos and the old milking parlour.
The lands are mostly in tillage, are under wheat at present, with less than a third of the entire in pasture.
Road frontage is good and the land is bounded by the Ogeen river. Apart from remedial work on 20 acres, Graigue, Shanballymore, is a headache-free, move-in job for most farmers.
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