Controversial Kerry farm sells for just short of €2m to local buyer

The farm is located at Beaufort close to Killarney and the Macgillycuddy Reeks
The farm is located at Beaufort close to Killarney and the Macgillycuddy Reeks
Jim O'Brien

Jim O'Brien

A 110ac non-residential farm at Whitefields, Beaufort, near Killarney in Kerry, sold at auction last week, making €1.925m or a strong €17,500/ac.

Adjacent to St Mary of the Angels residential care centre, the farm is off the N72, about 13km slightly north-west of Killarney and 12km south-east of Killorglin.

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The land is laid out in a series of level, dry grazing fields fenced with traditional hedgerow fences.

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 riverbank.

Originally part of the MacGillycuddy Estate, the farm was then owned by a local farming family who left it to the Beaufort Sisters of the Divine Motherhood in the early 1960s.

The sisters built St Mary of the Angels residential care centre on the farm, and, in recent weeks, there has been some controversy as to what will happen to the proceeds of the sale of the remaining land.

Parents of residents in the centre contend that there is a commitment to invest the proceeds in the centre.

Over the years, the land was mainly let to local farmers for cattle and sheep grazing. The holding has no buildings and is purely agricultural ground.

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At auction, Tom Spillane opened proceedings when he accepted a bid of €800,000.

With five bidders declaring their hands, the price moved up in increments of €50,000 to €1m.

It continued to €1.2m in bids of €25,000, at which point a brief recess was called to take instructions. On return, the place was put on the market and after another 30 bids, it finally sold for €1.925m.

The property was bought by a local businessman with farming interests in the area.

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