The green and white flags flutter from every pole and gatepost in west Limerick these days. My journeys last week took me through Adare, Croagh, Ardagh and Newcastlewest as they basked in July sunshine if not a bit of glory
The game of hurling is in a healthy state on the Shannonside with much national and provincial silverware adorning the local sideboard.
The county is also home to a healthy and vibrant dairy sector where most land that comes to the market is viewed through the lens of the cowman rather than the ploughman.
My journey west was taking me to two associated parcels of land located near Newcastlewest that can be bought separately or together.
They include a 144ac residential dairy farm at Ballylahiff, 2km from the town off the road to Ardagh, while the other, extending to 60ac, is located at Reens on the Limerick side of Newcastlewest.
In a private treaty sale handled by Sherry FitzGerald Stack, the 144ac farm is guided at €1.95m, while the 60ac is guided at €800,000
The residential farm is situated at Ballylahiff just on the Ardagh side of the town.
Located on a cul-de-sac, the farm has double road frontage, with access to another side road from deeper inside the farm. It is described by auctioneer Maurice Stack as a fine place with a substantial well-finished six-bedroom house.
The current owners are more than 40 years farming in the area.
The man of the house explains sadly, that since the loss of his wife to cancer a few years ago, everything has changed. His sons, one of whom is farming fulltime with him, want to pursue other interests.
"This was part of a 250ac Golden Vale farm and associated with their cheese factory," the owner explains.
They used it for disposing of the whey, which was sprayed on the land. "My wife and I bought 145ac from Golden Vale in 1976 for £238,000. There were no buildings here and no house. We built the house for £40,000 and moved in here in 1978."
Since then, the family built up the farming infrastructure gradually and the yard developed organically, with buildings added when they were needed.
The land is made up of the best of Limerick grazing ground, divided into over 20 divisions, fenced with traditional hedgerow and paddocked with electric fences.
There is substantial road frontage to the holding from the entrance, giving easy access to many of the divisions, while the farm is serviced by an excellent internal roadway system servicing all the fields, which feature a rich sward of grass.
Bisecting the farm is the old Limerick to Tralee railway line, now transformed into the Great Southern Greenway, a 39km walking and cycling route between Rathkeale and Abbeyfeale.
A system of access points with spring-loaded gates secures the farm, while allowing walkers and cyclists pass unimpeded.
An extensive array of outbuildings in various shapes and sizes make up the yard. Their number and kind are hard to enumerate, but the structures include a 12-unit milking parlour, a cubicle house fitted with scrapers and capable of accommodating up to 150 head of stock.
The facilities also include a 45-capacity slatted unit, a 100ft x 60ft slatted unit, a 50ft x 60ft slatted unit, a five column calf shed and two calving boxes.
At one point, the place was home to a beef enterprise, so all-in-all, there is accommodation for about 400 animals. Other facilities include a circular steel slurry tank, cattle handling facilities, silage pits, along with fodder and machinery storage spaces.
The impressive two-storey farmhouse is in fine condition and includes PVC windows and doors, along with solid fuel and oil heating.
The accommodation on the ground floor includes an entrance hallway, a lounge/sitting room, a fitted kitchen with a dining and lounge area, a shower room with wc and a double bedroom.
Other spaces include a pantry and a utility. Upstairs is home to five bedrooms, with one ensuite and a family bathroom. The residence is set in mature lawns and is accessed by a tarmacadam driveway with separate entrance to the residence and farmyard.
This working dairy farm is on the market by private treaty and may go to auction, according to Mr Stack.
The 60ac of grass at Reens, between Rathkeale and Newcastlewest, fronts the N21 main Limerick to Tralee road. All in grass and serviced by an internal roadway, the grazing ground is laid out in five fields divided by traditional hedging and electric fencing.
In great heart and covered in a fine sward of grass, the holding would make an excellent addition to an existing enterprise and could have the makings of an ideal unit for a part-time farmer.