Farm Ireland

Sunday 25 March 2018

Sixmilebridge priced at €600k

Martin Ryan

An asking price of €600,000 has been set by the GVM Marts Group for its Sixmilebridge Mart site.

The Co Limerick-based sales group closed its marts in Sixmilebridge, Co Clare, and Rathkeale, Co Limerick, before Christmas and is now in the process of selling the two facilities.

PJ Buckley, chief executive of GVM, confirmed that the decision to cease trading at both locations will not be reversed.

"There is an asking price of €600,000 on Sixmilebridge. We will be putting the property on the market by private treaty within the next week and will be selling to the highest bidder," he said.

He confirmed that part of the property at Rathkeale -- where the calf sales were previously held -- has already been sold to a local buyer and the balance, comprising the cattle section, will be on the market within a week.

It has emerged that a group of local farmers and business people are considering buying and reopening the Co Clare facility. A study group, comprising a solicitor, an accountant and a financial advisor, each of whom have farming interests in the area, are to work with farmer representatives to assess the viability of the plan.

A farmer delegation from Sixmilebridge, led by parish priest Fr Harry Bohan, recently met with GVM management.

The delegation reported to a meeting of more than 200 farmers at Sixmilebridge that an option for farmers in the area to lease the mart was ruled out by GVM management.

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"There are strong feelings in the area at the decision to close [the mart] and farmers are very concerned. It is a huge loss to the area," said Jim Enright, who chaired the local meeting and was a member of the deputation who met with GVM.

"There is a lot of local support for farmers taking over the mart, but the raising of €600,000 is a challenge which has to be discussed," he added.


"We believe that the mart can be viable with a throughput of 10,000 cattle per annum. In recent years the numbers have fallen a bit short of that, but with the opening of the tunnel linking Limerick and Clare in 2010, Sixmilebridge will be very accessible for livestock from a large area of Co Limerick," Mr Enright pointed out.

He said Saturday sales at Sixmilebridge had proved very popular, especially with part-time farmers.

When asked if there was a preference for a buyout of the mart by local farmers, Mr Buckley said that would be a matter for the GVM board.

Explaining the decision to close the two marts, Mr Buckley claimed that annual throughput at Rathkeale had fallen from 25,000hd to 6,500hd. At Sixmilebridge, throughput had fallen from 13,000hd to 6,500hd.

Sixmilebridge Mart was opened in 1973, when it was privately owned and traded as Bunratty Export Mart. It was taken over by GVM Marts almost 20 years ago.

Meanwhile, it is understood that a group of private investors may also have an interest in acquiring the premises and continuing operations for livestock trading, but this could not be confirmed.

Irish Independent