Farm Ireland

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Castlerea's mart boss takes a bow

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Castlerea Mart is to lose its leading light when mart manager Noel Moran retires this year after 35 years at the helm.

Mr Moran took up the manager's role when the mart first opened for business in 1976, and has overseen major changes in the farmer-funded market in the past three decades.

"The mart started as a one-ring outfit, which was built by local farmers for £52,000," he said. "In the first year, we handled 21,000 cattle and 5,000 sheep."

With a turnover of £5.3m, the mart generated a profit of £19,000 in its first year.

This year, Castlerea Mart is on track to hit a throughput of 39,000 cattle, with an expected turnover close to €30m.

ICOS is now seeking a suitable replacement for Mr Moran and says potential candidates must be commercially focused.

Commercial awareness has been a feature of Mr Moran's stewardship since 1976, during which time the mart has made numerous commercial acquisitions and developments.

The first of these was the building of a dual-purpose lairage in 1979, to cater for increased numbers of sheep and cattle being sold through the mart.

Also Read

By 1982, throughput at the mart was so high that sales regularly continued into the night so a second sales ring was built at a cost of £55,000.

In 1987, the thriving mart purchased a 33ac farm on the outskirts of Castlerea, which was quickly followed by a £160,000 redevelopment of the mart, which included a new sheep yard and office complex. The mart also ran a profitable turf contracting business.

Today, it has a catchment area on both sides of the Shannon and attracts buyers and sellers from across Mayo, Galway, Longford and Sligo. Up to 50 people are employed at the mart on sale days.

"Working here has been a positive experience," he said. "It's been hard work too, and I'm proud of what we have achieved."

ICOS is now seeking applications for the mart manager's position. Applicants should have excellent knowledge of the livestock industry, and delegation, office and IT skills. Experience of running a mart or associated business is desirable.

Applications should be sent to Ray Doyle, ICOS, Plunkett House, 84 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, or via email to before November 30.

Indo Farming