Farm Ireland

Thursday 23 November 2017

False promises and the Celtic Tiger fall-out

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Mediator Clare O'Keeffe warned parents to be acutely aware of what they say to young children about the family estate.

"I've come across cases where grown men and women believe they were going to inherit the farm because of conversations that took place when they were very small," she said.

"You could have a small child walking around with his or her father saying: 'When I'm big Daddy I'll be the farmer like you' and the father says 'Of course you will John/Jane' but it may not pan out that way."

"It has happened too often that the child interprets that as a promise that will be carried into adult life so be very aware of what you say and don't make any false promises," urged the mediator.

Ms O'Keeffe warned of another potential flashpoint that relates to the Celtic Tiger era and needs to be addressed immediately.

"There were lots of wills written and promises made during the Celtic Tiger that simply cannot be honoured now," she maintained.


"The values put on land during the boom were enormous and some family arrangements would have been put in place on the back of those values that simply couldn't be generated from a farming income.

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"For example, a farmer might have written a will that gave his farm to David and the sum of €100,000 to each of his sisters.

"That amount of money just could not be realised today and those wills need to be revised before it is too late," she insisted.

"Otherwise they will lead to problems within the family."

Irish Independent