Farm Ireland

Monday 23 October 2017

Ex-Teagasc farm up for tenders on lease deals

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

For the first time in more than 20 years, Teagasc will not be renewing its lease on the 682ac hill farm at Derrintin, Leenane, Co Mayo. The changing of the guard at Leenane will take place during next month.

Well known among sheep farmers as the pilot research unit for hill sheep production, the farm is one of a number of leased farms that will not be renewed by Teagasc this year.

Auctioneer Austin O'Toole is now inviting tenders from interested parties for the farm, which includes around 60ac of good quality grassland and 622ac of hill ground.

"This is a massive place so the interest is likely to come from the commercial sheep sector rather than a single farmer but there is a possibility of offering it in different lots," said the auctioneer.

"However our aim at the moment is to lease it all out in one lot."

The farm is located on the north side of the Erriff river in the heart of Connemara and runs down to the famous Erriff salmon fishery. Under Teagasc, the land was stocked with 300-400 ewes.

A farm roadway divides the 60ac of grassland from the bulk of the south-facing hill farm.

The property also includes some sheep handling facilities and sheds, including a four-bay back-to-back slatted sheep shed that holds approximately 240 sheep.

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While the Leenane farm was mostly used for research on hill sheep profitability, it also focused on the environmental and sustainability aspects of hill sheep farming in more recent years.

The research work at Leenane will be replaced by research through commercial farms in the Teagasc BETTER sheep programme.

Mr O'Toole said he is inviting tenders for both five-year and 10-year lease agreements by mid-September, as Teagasc is vacating the property by the end of next month.

For enquiries, call O'Toole Auctioneering on 098 66525

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