Chaos as half of herd in farm debt auction to be resold
A bank-ordered auction of one of Ireland's top dairy herds because of a €2.4m farm debt was thrown into chaos after it emerged more than half the animals purchased will now have to be re-sold.
The auction on Tuesday of more than 1,000 pedigree dairy animals on Peter Kingston's farm at Nohoval, Co Cork made national headlines after an injunction was sought to prevent land rights and debt relief campaigners from preventing the sale, arranged by Cork Sherrif Sinead McNamara, from proceeding.
Mr Kingston wept as his animals were sold, with buyers attending the auction from all over Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK.
The Craden Hill farm was established by his father, George Kingston (77), in 1972 and it was developed into one of the top dairy operations in Europe.
The farm was established by the Kingston family thanks to the profits from their bee hive operation. However, in a startling development, auctioneer Denis Barrett confirmed last night that more than half the herd will now have to be re-sold after buyers failed to comply with the specific terms of sale.
"The sales agent, Denis Barrett, acting on behalf of the Cork County Sheriff representing creditors who are owed a significant level of debt by Peter Kingston, wishes to state that it is with regret that approximately 500 animals that were bid upon at a pedigree herd auction, held earlier this week at a farm in Nohoval, Kinsale Co Cork, must now be resold due to a failure to receive payment," a statement released last night confirmed.
"A significant number of animals, many of which were expected to achieve the highest prices on the day, were bid upon by two parties who have failed to comply with the terms and conditions in relation to payment.
"It is with regret, added expense and frustration that the sales agent must now proceed with an online tender process for the resale of the animals when legitimate bidders lost out on the opportunity to acquire the animals in question at the auction."
It is understood the bulk of the animals involved were the dairy cows which were the highlight of the auction.
Mr Kingston described the auction last Tuesday as "absolutely heartbreaking".
He said he had made five offers to his bank in a bid to resolve the debt impasse without success.