Farm Ireland

Friday 15 December 2017

Rathkeale Mart sale a 'disgrace' say farmers

Martin Ryan

ANGRY livestock farmers in west Limerick have claimed their interests are no longer being served by the Golden Vale Marts Group (GVM) after the sale of the local livestock mart at Rathkeale.

Tom Crosse, manager of GVM Property Sales, has confirmed the sale of the mart at Rathkeale to a solicitor in trust for an undisclosed sum.

No details have been revealed of the identity of the buyer in the sale, which has brought more than half a century of livestock marketing in the town to an end.

Informed local sources believe the mart was sold for around €650,000, considerably less than the €1m-plus price tag that was believed to have been the original guide price.

Local farmers and Limerick IFA members have described as "disgraceful" the decision by the society to withdraw the livestock sales service from the area.

Four local farmers, who were members of the 33-man GVM board, resigned their seats in protest over the decision to close the mart last December.

However, GVM Group chief executive PJ Buckley said the decision to close the mart had been taken following long and detailed consideration.

He claimed throughput of cattle at the mart had fallen off and the mart had been operating at a loss for some time.

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Limerick IFA chairman Eddie Scanlan said that the closure and sale of the mart was regrettable and was a case of the farmer board of GVM not serving the interest of the farmers in the Rathkeale area.

Former GVM board member Donal Danaher said: "The interests and views of the farmers in this area, who invested in the purchase of this mart by GVM, don't seem to matter to the society any longer."

Irish Independent