The public auction of local farm-land at the River Island Hotel in Castleisland on Wednesday afternoon was most certainly historic and quite definitely unique.
That it was the first event of its kind and magnitude in well over a decade, that it attracted so much interest, so many determined bidders and that it was over in the blink of an eye has ensured its place in both history and folklore.
Pushing it towards inclusion in the above categories is that it was all conducted, and rigidly so, in an atmosphere dominated by Covid-19 considerations.
The close on 50 in attendance were all asked to produce evidence of vaccinations and directed to hand sanitisers on arrival.
The land in question on the day was a 45.5 acre parcel in the Kilcow area of Castleisland and it had been drawing a lot of interest in the days leading up to Wednesday’s public showdown – which got underway just after the advertised time of 1:30pm.
Five Bidding Parties,17 Bids
There were five different bidding parties and after a total of 17 bids it was all over.
Bidding opened at €500,50,000 and it went to the €1m mark in €50k bids. When it hit the €1m mark it progressed to the selling price of €1,175,000 in €25,000 increments.
“It is an exceptional price but it is for a parcel of very good land in a prime location,” said auctioneer, Tom Stuart of Stuart & Company, Auctioneers and Valuers, Castleisland.
Land Stayed in Local Hands
“It was felt that the interest shown is an indication of the progressive nature of the farmers and landowners in the area. For reasons of client confidentially we can’t reveal the identity of the new owner.
However, it has emerged that the land has remained in local hands.
“That it was over so fast is also a sign of the times we’re living in. People just don’t want to hang around unnecessarily and everything on the day facilitated a short, sharp operation and it suited everyone there,” said Mr. Stuart.
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