A substantial piece of farmland in Kerry is due to fall under the auctioneer’s hammer next month.
The 99-acre holding in the townland of Lisleibane near Beaufort village is in one of the most scenic parts of Kerry and of Ireland.
The farm skirts the lower slopes of the Macgillyduddy Reeks, with Ireland’s highest mountain Carrauntuohill overlooking the pasture land and its single-storey cottage, two derelict farmers’ cottages and outbuildings.
This is in prime tourist country.
The famed Lakes of Killarney lie just 7km to the east, Moll’s Gap and the Gap of Dunloe are even nearer, while Killorglin and the beaches at Rossbeigh and Glenbeigh are about 20km to the west.
The nearest village is Beaufort — about 10km away.
It was in this small but scenic village that Irish cinema was “born”: American film-maker Sidney Olcott arrived here in 1911 and set up a semi-permanent studio, churning out a whole series of Irish-themed movies (27 in all) for the Irish-American audience, filmed over a four-year period during the pioneering days of the Silent Era, beginning with “A Lad from Old Ireland” and ending with “Bold Emmet, Ireland’s Martyr”.
That burst of Hollywood glory was the first time an American film studio had crossed the Atlantic to make movies.
It ended as the First World War began and during the turbulent years that followed, Ireland’s priorities were elsewhere.
It’s clear to see, however, why this part of Ireland was chosen for its cinematic backdrops.
The land quality of this particular piece of paradise now for sale is a mixture of summer grazing, mountain land and some good quality grazing too, according to Killarney-based auctioneer Tom Spillane.
“The land, for the most part, consists of lovely fields surrounded by stone fences and whitethorn and ash trees… there is a lot of green grass, a lot of rough grazing too. It’s very good quality for the area.”
“It’s a very charming spot,” says auctioneer Tom Spillane, who will be conducting the public auction on Friday, July15, at 3pm in the Royal Hotel in Killarney.
“It’s situated between the two car parks where people would start their ascent to Carrauntuohill — between Lisleibane Car Park and Cronin’s Yard Car Park.”
The farm contains a single-storey dwelling.
This was built in the 1960s, according to the selling agents, and is in a reasonable condition, but in need of upgrading.
In addition, there are a further two older cottages — both of them in a state of dereliction, one of which, according to auctioneers, can be brought back to a habitable condition.
“They still contain their structure and they still contain some furniture items, as they were left many years ago.”
The land also has the benefit of a share of 350 acres of commonage in the land above and adjoining the farm, that runs into the “Hag’s Tooth” area — well known to hill walkers who have climbed Ireland’s highest peak.
While the property is of undoubted interest from a purely agricultural point of view, the location and structure of this farm would lend even greater interest to someone with an eye towards agri-tourism.
“It could be used for holiday homes, for an amenity ground,” suggests Tom.
“It could have many other uses besides farming uses.
“This is one of the last working farms before Carrauntuohill. Literally at your back door, you’re looking out at all the peaks of the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks.”
Access to the property is good, according to the auctioneer.
While it’s still early days yet to judge the level of interest, so far there have already been a number of enquiries about this fascinating and attractive holding in the Kingdom with a foothold in Ireland’s tallest mountain range.
The price guide is “in excess of €250,000.”
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