An open book in the Kingdom - 110ac holding that has the makings of a fine stand-alone grazing farm
Last week I took myself south-west to the Kingdom of Kerry and a beautiful farm at Beaufort just outside Killarney, in the shadow of the mighty Macgillycuddy Reeks.
The non-residential holding extends to c110ac of level dry land in a fertile vale replete with fine farms and some salubrious houses. The holding is coming to auction as an entire with a guide price of €1.1m.
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My hosts were Kerry footballing legend and auctioneer Tom Spillane along with his son Conor. They met me at the church in Fossa, a most unusual lantern-like structure where the panoramic window behind the altar overlooks Lough Leane, the largest of the lakes, and on to the mountains in the background.
A cloud was sitting on the top of Carrauntoohill as it loomed over us, while the mighty Gap of Dunloe opened up to another world, a kingdom beyond this one perhaps. As we drove along the immaculate country roads to our destination at Whitefields, Beaufort, the cut-stone walls and the leafy surrounds reminded me of Kildare horsey country with its manicured stud farms.
As we approached Beaufort the saffron and blue of the local football team fluttered from pole and gatepost in celebration of the club's victory in the All Ireland Club Junior championship. One is never far from football in the Kingdom.
We passed a 235ac golf course and farm that was sold during the boom for €12m and bought back by its original owners during the recession for €1.25m.
At a crossroads Tom showed me a 10ac field with double road frontage that sold for €1.5m during the Tiger years and was recently bought for €270,000, or over €27,000/ac.
We arrived at the farm adjacent to St Mary of the Angels residential care centre, off the N72, about 13km north-west of Killarney and 12km south-east of Killorglin.
The land stretched off in front of us in a series of level, dry grazing fields fenced with traditional hedgerow fences, some of which will need attention.
Conor Spillane, who walks many farms with his father, remarks on what a relief it is to walk land without having to climb.
Unlike the mountainous nature of much of the land in the county, this farm is on a level plain looking up at the mountains. The ground is firm and dry underfoot, and while we wore wellies as a precaution Tom remarked that we could have walked it in our shoes. Indeed, we could have walked it in our slippers.
The 110ac has generous road frontage of up to 800m on to a country road at the rear of the holding, while the River Gaddagh bounds part of the farm, leaving 3ac separate from the rest with about 10ac in old woodland along the river bank.
Originally a family farm, the holding has been in its current ownership since the early 1960s and mainly let to local farmers for cattle and sheep grazing. According to Tom this is a strong farming area made up of progressive farmers, both drystock and dairy.
The holding has no buildings and is purely agricultural ground. It is an open book for any new owner with the makings of a fine stand-alone operation or a powerful addition to any existing enterprise.
It will be sold as an entire when it comes to auction at the Royal Hotel, Killarney at 3pm on Thursday, May 30.
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