Shed-loads of potential in the west: 143ac farm with top class facilities and €21k in entitlements
One of the warm days last week found me in the Midlands and close to Athlone, where I rendezvoused with Roscommon auctioneer Ivan Connaughton.
We made our way west, out the Taughmaconnell Road to a fine 143ac farm at a place called Castlesampson. The non-residential holding with €21,000 per annum in entitlements comes to auction in late August with a guide price of €1.4m or €10,000/ac
The temperature gauge was hitting 26˚ as we reached the boundary of the property fronting on to the L2025, about 9km from Athlone, 15km from Ballinalsoe and 30km from Roscommon town. We turned left on to a paved public laneway that bisects this substantial farm, giving it dual road frontage.
Coming to a traditional farm gateway, we drove up the short, shared avenue to the yard, where substantial planning and resources have been put into a range of modern facilities and shedding.
The yard is made up of a complex of modern and revamped sheds with slatted units, state-of-the-art outdoor slurry agitation points and a plethora of pens, storage and holding spaces. The roofed area covers 10,274 sq ft, where even the cattle crush and pen are indoors.
The sheds include a six-column lean-to slatted feeding shed with over-hang and lie-back areas, while a three-column A-roofed shed with a central passage has three columns of slatted units at either side.
Adjacent to these, and with access to the A-roofed and lean-to shed, is the covered cattle crush and gathering area. There's an older three-column, round-roofed haybarn, two columns of slats and a central passage; behind that is a three-column double-flat shed, and a three-column single-flat shed.
The sheds are on a concrete base, with a 100-foot x 50-foot silage slab.
The facilities are second to none and were built by the father of the current owners, who took great care in their construction and maintenance. They are all in top condition and ready for use.
The land is made up mainly of elevated dry ground, much of it on an esker that is gravelly and self-draining, while a small portion is lower with a pond.
The place is divided into 17 fields fenced with a combination of hedgerow, stone walls and electric fencing.
The ground is solid underfoot, with little sign of poaching. It is covered in a sward of strong grass that needs to be cut, but looking at land across the neighbouring ditches, one would have to say that with a bit of TLC, it will make the finest of grazing ground.
The local laneway runs down through the farm, while a generous length of single frontage to the Taughmaconnell/Athlone Road gives the place about 2.5km of frontage in its entirety.
Speaking of neighbours, the great Brendan Shine, famed for his melodic voice, has farmland adjacent to the holding, land that is in admirable order. Any new owners will not find themselves short of a song or a tune to waltz to.
Ivan Connaughton isn't far off the mark when he describes the place as having dairy potential - the addition of a farm roadway inside the walls bounding the lane would give access to all the fields, while there is plenty of housing to accommodate a milking parlour. The 143.4ac holding can be bought as an entire or in lots, with the first lot made up of 77.77ac along with the yard and extensive frontage on to the lane.
The second lot has frontage on to the Taughmaconnell Road and the lane, and this extends to 52.43ac. A third lot with frontage on to the lane extends to 13.2ac.
There will be keen interest from far and near when the farm comes to auction at Gullane's Hotel, Ballinasloe, at 4pm on Friday, August 30.
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