Revealed: From Larry Goodman to a Dubai sheikh - the Irish farmers who receive the largest EU payments

Details of EU payments to Irish farmers have been revealed and we detail the top Irish farmers on the list

Photo: PA
Photo: PA

Margaret Donnelly & Ciaran Moran

The details come as Teagasc published figures today that show that the average Irish farmer received less than €18,000 in EU direct payments, accounting for almost 75pc of their income. 

This is in stark contrast to Larry Goodman and his family, who through two farms, Branganstown and Glydee received €217,153 and €214,275 in EU payments in 2016 - giving them a combined income of €430,000 in EU farm subsidies.

Goodman has the largest EU farm payment, by far, of any individual in Ireland. However, it is significantly surpassed by the €6m Teagasc receives and the €3.9m Commercial Mushroom PRS Co-op receives. Bord Bia received €2.28m last year, while Ornua received €1.6m last year.

Other notable beneficiaries include Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashin Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and owner of Kildangan stud farm. It received €156,000 while Godolphin racing received €167,000 last year.

Also Read: See the top farm payments in your county

Further, 17 farmers and companies with an address outside of Ireland received EU payments. In a recent FarmIreland survey, 75pc of farmers said they are unhappy with the current farm payment system and that payments are unfairly distributed, with many saying that they would prefer a fair price for their produce instead of subsidies.

Larry Goodman, Louth, €431,000

Between the two farms Branganstown and Glydee that are owned and by Goodman, they were in receipt of €214,275 and €217,153 in EU subsidies. His home farm at Castlebellingham, Co. Lough is the 850-acre Branganstown enterprise. However, he also owns in excess of 1,100 acres in his Glydee farm at Kilsaren, which is a feedlot for 8,000 head of cattle.

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Goodman is believed to own a further 350 acres as well as the privately owned ABP meat processing group which recently extended its share of the meat processing market in Ireland through a joint venture allowing it to acquire a 50pc stake in Slaney Meats.

Walter Furlong, Enniscorthy, Wexford €429,824

Wexford farmer Walter Furlong has built up a large grain production outfit with his business partner Kevin Cooney. Between them they own the Cooney & Furlong Grain Company. Furlong farms around 3,500 acres of land in Wexford.

Also Read: See the top farm payments in your county

O'Shea Farms, Kilkenny €244,693.61

O’Shea farms is owned by Richard, Thomas, Joseph and Seamus O'Shea.

While Richard concentrated on dairying, the rest of the hard-working brothers built up a business that handles close to 37,000 tonnes of carrots, potatoes and other fruit and veg under the moniker of Iverk produce.

Terence Coughlan, Fermoy, Cork €227,469

Terence Coughlan, a tillage farmer outside Fermoy makes this list and tops the list of recipients in Cork. It is understood that he farms in the region of 2,000 acres.

John and Peter Queally, Waterford €225,165.50

The Queally brothers launched Dawn Meats in 1980, and the company had turnover in excess of €1.1bn in 2014.

The family's farm spans 800 acres in the Piltown area of Co Waterford. Like their lifelong competitor, Larry Goodman, the Queally's massive farm subsidy was amassed on the back of feedlots that fattened thousands of cattle annually for their beef factories.

Patrick Reynolds, Kells, Meath, €224,496.78

Navan-based potato farmer Patrick Reynolds is regarded as one of the biggest in the country and, combined with grain, covers more than 2,000 acres of the Royal county's deep, fertile soils.

He has successfully combined farming and football to reach the pinnacle of both. While Patrick and his son Paddy share the rare honour of being a father and son that have won both All Irelands and All Stars for their county, it is their agricultural achievements that impress farmers most.

Cyril Goode, Arklow, Wicklow €220,110

This vet and pedigree cattle breeder from Arklow received €220,000 in EU farm subsidies in 2016 the figures show. Goode has produced some of the best pedigree Simmental and Charolais cattle in Ireland over the years and is thought to be Ireland's largest cattle suckler farmer.

Louis McAuley, Navan, Meath, €219,863.01

Louis McAuley is a large supplier of animal feeds to dairy, beef and sheep farmers, Louis McAuley Ltd is a family run business which was set up in 1976. There are three generations of the family involved in the enterprise.

They grow wheat, barley, oats, rapeseed, maize and bean. The farm encompasses more than 2,000 acres, 90pc of which is in tillage, with the remainder in grassland.

Also Read: See the top farm payments in your county

Thomas Codd, Wexford, €209,088.31

Thomas Codd is a dairy farmer from Wexford. Mr Codd farms 400-500 acres of his own land but has been expanding steadily through rentals in recent years. It is understood that he now farms 1,200 acres, much of it around the Rosslare area.

VG Land holdings – Galway €208,052.13

The Whooley operation is registered as receiving €208,052.13 in European funds for a farm in Co Galway. This is despite the fact that Val Whooley operates a dairy farm in the Bantry area of Co Cork.

Online Editors