Pictures: Massive price sought for extensive farm on outskirts of Cork City
I have family living in Douglas in Cork City and so I was sure there was some mistake when Fermoy auctioneer Michael Barry sent me notice of an auction for a 101ac residential farm with an address at Douglas.
I drove to the southern capital to check the place out for myself and there was no mistake, this fine 101ac tillage and grass farm is located within the new Cork City Development Boundary on an elevated site overlooking the south eastern suburbs.
The guide price of €30,000/ac is also no mistake.
My drive to the rebel city took me past the Galtees, around Mitchelstown and Fermoy. I picked a good day, the finest of the year so far. The fields were bathed in the first real touch of warm sunshine in six months as the dairy herds of south Limerick and north Cork, the very picture of contentment, grazed happily with the sun on their backs.
Michael Barry was waiting in the car park of the Rochestown Park Hotel. "Hop in with me, it's only a few minutes down the road," he said. Sure enough within a few minutes we left the urban outskirts behind and we were driving along the L6477 where 350m of road frontage defines one boundary of the farm. The other side is marked by an even longer section of frontage on to the very busy Carrigaline/Ringaskiddy road.
"The couple that owned this place were the best of farmers," Michael Barry explained, "as a farm it was ahead of its time in the 1960s and 70s. They had no children and after the husband died the land was let. The owner was offered substantial monies for it during the Celtic Tiger years, including substantial option money, but she refused to sell," he said. The place is the subject of an executor auction.
A short avenue took us up to a fine solid, two-storey farmhouse at the centre of the elevated farm surrounded by the best of grass and tillage land. The house is a four-bedroomed dwelling in perfectly habitable condition with accommodation that includes a dining room/sitting room, a functional but dated kitchen, a utility, a cloak room and a parlour. The four bedrooms and a bathroom are located on the first floor.
To the rear of the house is a courtyard with a range of storage buildings that have a variety of uses while some neat garden areas and shrubberies are laid out around the side and to the front.