This week we report on the forced dispersal sale of the Kingston herd in Co Cork. While dangerous to comment on individual situations in the absence of the full facts, few would feel anything but sympathy for the situation in which the Kingston family find themselves.

Of course businesses fail but a family farm is very different given the emotional investment that has gone into it over the years. This has to be recognised by those taking action. They must engage with a level of humanity and understanding in situations where both sides are showing a real effort to work through these difficult situations. Clearly there needs to be a mechanism that does not merely plunge the farm further into debt.