Auction shoot-out for the Knockiel Corral
I was very interested recently to see that a farm at Knockiel, Rathdowney in Co Laois was the subject of a lively fire-fight when it came to auction before Christmas, writes Jim O'Brien.
Three bidders were locked in combat until there was only one left standing, a local farmer who faced down stiff opposition and paid €322,000 or €14,000/ac for 23.1ac of ground.
The sale and the place-name, Knockiel, interested me since a friend of mine, Rathdowney poet and raconteur Michael Creagh, immortalised the townsland in verse.
In one of his poems he describes how he and his friends would take a detour into a quarry at Knockiel on their way home from school and transform it into their piece of the Wild West. Their schoolbags became saddlebags, their pencils turned into six shooters and it was 'bang bang you're dead,' for an hour or more as Rathdowney's Clint Eastwood and John Wayne teamed up to take on the bad guys.
The land sold at Knockiel before Christmas was certainly not quarry material but good flat ground worthy of a shootout.
Located in the middle of Rathdowney the 23.1ac are bounded by the local GAA pitch, the soccer pitch and a housing estate. The property is made up of three fields all in grass and described by Roscrea auctioneer, Seamus Browne as top quality land.
The parcel had been zoned for development during the boom and sold at that time for a massive sum, however it has since been rezoned agricultural and came for sale at agricultural prices.
The auctioneer certainly got himself a shoot out when he brought the place for auction.