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Friday 14 December 2018

Farmers protest against forced sale of rural land

Sell offs: MEPs Liadh Ní Riada and Marion Harkin pictured during the ICSA protest outside the offices of BidX1 on Waterloo Road, Dublin. Photo: Frank McGrath
Sell offs: MEPs Liadh Ní Riada and Marion Harkin pictured during the ICSA protest outside the offices of BidX1 on Waterloo Road, Dublin. Photo: Frank McGrath
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Farmers mounted a protest at the Dublin offices of online property trading platform BidX1 in opposition to the forced sale of lands.

Online auction house BidX1 last week halted the sale of farmland on its platform following an outcry against the sale of farms repossessed by so-called "vulture funds".

The company said it took the decision due to "a lack of an agreed framework between all parties on the sale of agricultural land".

However, farmers yesterday went ahead with their planned protest.

Speaking at the protest, Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers' Association rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock said: "The farming community must stand together and send a clear message to vulture funds, and those who collaborate with them, that any attempt to sell distressed farmland will be met with community resistance.

"Online property trading platforms don't tell the full story. What you're viewing is a product of the mistreatment of customers by banks initially and then by vulture funds.

"We have a situation whereby mainstream banks are continuing to sell off loans at an alarming rate, so we have an ever increasing number of families who find themselves having to deal with vulture funds with no choice in the matter."

He said a negotiated settlement was the best option for everyone.

Irish Independent

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