103ac of good ground in Delvin worth braving the elements for
It was raining with a vengeance as I made my way up across the country to Delvin in Westmeath. As they would say, it was a day for the fire and the last thing a fella would want to be doing is walking land. Even a 103ac farm wouldn't be sufficient to entice one to put on the wellies and fog up the specs.
I met Stephen Barry of Pottertons at the Caman Inn in Delvin where a hearty breakfast was ordered to fortify us for the hazards and vicissitudes of the task that lay ahead. A local dairy farmer and his daughter were seated at an adjoining table, similarly fortifying themselves.
We were fortunate that the strongest beverage passing our lips was tea - had anyone taken a notion to order anything stronger, we might have decided to sit out the inclement weather and emerge when the sky was clear and our wallets bare.
But the dairy farmer had the second milking to consider while Mr Barry and I had fields to walk and matters to discuss. We stuck to the tea.
The first farm we visited was a 103ac residential holding at Gehanstown, 5km from Delvin and 15km from Kells, just inside the Co Meath border. The residential holding, with a cottage in need of extensive refurbishment and a range of outbuildings, is for sale by public auction with a guide price of €700,000.
A warren of country roads brought us to the farm with extensive road frontage on to a public road and cul-de-sac. Laid out in a series of large undulating fields, the place was farmed extensively by the owner. While the hedging could do with attention and the soil with being fertilised, the land is sound. Aside from a lower portion with rushes, the land is good dry ground. The fact that we drove across most of the place without leaving as much as a mark on a wet day in November says a lot about it.
Mr Barry insisted we don the wellies and the raincoats and walked a few fields, declaring: "I didn't feed you to leave you sitting on your backside in my jeep." Underfoot, the land proved to be as good as it looked from the vantage point of my host's fine vehicle.
The house and main yard are located at the end of the cul-de-sac, while the farming facilities include a relatively modern three-column lean-to style building on a small yard at the centre of the land. The main yard is made up of a four-column round-roofed shed, some cattle handling facilities and a number of old stone sheds.