Kingstons fail in bid to save pedigree herd

Sheriff set to proceed with online auction of 500 cows this week

Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

Up to 500 lots from the embattled Cradenhill herd in Co Cork will be put up for sale again this week, according to the auctioneer handling the sale.

Cork-based Denis Barrett said while the Sheriff was still considering her options, the most likely scenario would be that the lots would be tendered online, and only bids that were fully paid along with transport costs in advance would be successful.

If no bids were received, the animals will be offered to the underbidders in each case.

Peter Kingston's 1,000 head Cradenhill herd and 175ac farm was repossessed by ACC last December following a High Court order in respect of an unpaid loan of close €2.5m.

It emerged that Mr Kingston's 77-year-old father, George, was one of two bidders on close to 500 lots at the auction that was held under tight security on the farm near Kinsale in Cork last week.

George Kingston planned to pay for the animals by cashing in his pension, but payments failed to comply in time with the terms of the sale, and the auctioneer was instructed to proceed with an online tender process.

Peter Kingston has said that "unfortunately the funds won't be available until Wednesday or Thursday of this week. Last Friday, [George] got a solicitor's undertaking that the bill would be paid whenever the money came in.

"[George] was hoping that at least he would keep a couple [of cows] . The man is suffering from Parkinson's and he was keeping that money for his future care. In the name of fair play and decency, it would have been a fine thing to have my father buy a few cattle for my son, so he can keep on the family tradition," he said.

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However, Denis Barrett, who auctioned cattle in Kinsale on the instruction of the Cork County Sheriff, said that all the terms and conditions relating to the auction were "standard" and available online to prospective bidders three weeks prior to the auction. Mr Barrett pointed out that the same terms and conditions were outlined in the catalogue that each bidder received on entry to the auction.

"These terms and conditions, all of which are standard, were read out before the auction got underway, to all who attended," he said, before concluding that it was "with continued regret and frustration that significant expenses must continue to be incurred by these failed bids."

Over €100,000 has already been spent by the Sheriff's office on vet fees, full-time security at the farm, along with advertising costs for the sale of the herd.

Mr Barrett stated that there had been 46,000 interactions on social media about the auction.

When asked if he planned to bid for the animals online, Mr Kingston said that it was a "very sensitive situation" that he would rather not comment on.

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