Farm Ireland

Friday 23 March 2018

Laois 126ac could be one in a million

Strong interest predicted at auction for Ballymullen House

Jim O’Brien

Ballymullen House and farm, extending to 126ac at Abbeyleix in Co Laois, is on the market to be sold at public auction with a guide price between €1m and €1.4m or €8,000 and €9,000/ac.

It was a wet day when I joined Joseph Coogan on a visit to the holding last week, but even in the pours of rain one could see that this is a fine farm of land set around a house with plenty of character.

Located just a mile from the picturesque village of Abbeyleix, the farm was bought by its current owners in 1981 and in its early years was farmed as a dairy enterprise.

In 1983 the family diversified and, taking advantage of the generous deposits on the farm, developed a business selling and delivering sand. In 2007 the sandpit was bought by Booth's Concrete who opened an entrance and put down a paved roadway adjacent to the main gateway to the farm. The new entrance doubles as access to the farmyard in a shared right of way.

In latter years the farm was a drystock holding and has been leased for the last five years.


The house is a late 19th early 20th century dwelling that is now in two separate units with total accommodation extending to seven bedrooms, four reception rooms, two kitchens and bathrooms.

The house is occupied with both sides rented to tenants, and while it has all modern conveniences including PVC windows it could do with significant refurbishment and modernisation. There is a lovely sheltered garden area around the house with a range of trees and shrubbery.

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There are two farmyards, an older stone courtyard with lofted stone barns and stables which ooze character but are in need of attention.

The modern part of the yard has a series of big loose sheds with substantial livestock accommodation along with a range of storage sheds and a disused milking parlour, all in need of attention and modernisation. A high-roofed, relatively modern machinery shed set away from the main yard would suit the storage of larger tillage or silage harvesting machinery.

The land is good grazing ground with natural drainage thanks to the presence of sand in the soil. The fields are ranged around the house with some fine stands of old trees.

The fencing is mainly electric while the fields are accessed by a short internal roadway that could do with being extended.

In its days as a dairy enterprise the farm had a reputation for producing high protein milk and doubtless could do so again.

Joseph Coogan says there is active interest in the farm, particularly from the milk sector, and he is looking forward to a lively auction and a strong result when the property is offered for sale at the Auction Room, Ballycomey House, Castlecomer at 3pm on Friday, April 25.

Indo Farming