7 June 2002

An Irishmans home could be his castle

A GLANCE through the property section of Farmers Journal, Irelands principal farming publication, quickly reveals that sizeable properties are few and far between – a 150-acre holding would be larger than most.

But for potential purchasers looking for something a little more meaty, Ganly Walters is currently selling Lisnabin near Killucan, Co Westmeath, less than an hours drive from Dublin.

Valued at in excess of k4.5m (£2.8m) this 400-acre farm was the home of Irelands oldest herd of pedigree Hereford cattle until the current owner decided to wind the herd up in the late 1990s.

An interesting feature of stock farms for sale in the Republic is often the lack of stock. Selling agent Callum Bain says that strict brucellosis and TB testing requirements mean farmers tend to prefer to sell their animals before marketing a property in case a positive test scuppers a sale at the last minute.

Although Lisnabin is certainly not a cheap property, even when compared with home counties residential units in England, it does boast a house that would make any future owner feel like the lord of the manor. The 10-bedroomed, neo-Gothic, castellated dwelling has a large courtyard and is in the middle of the holding.

From a farming angle, 300 acres of the land are down to permanent pasture which, according to Mr Bain, is of extremely good quality having been carefully maintained by five generations of the same family. He values it at around k7000/acre (£4400/acre). A further 70 acres are under arable crops with the balance made up of woodlands. &#42

Lisnabin includes a castle-like dwelling. Total price is about £2.8m.