In pictures: Spectacular Lisselan sells to Clonakilty local
Scenic and spectacular, the Lisselan estate has been sold for a sum believed to be just under €3million, writes Anthony Jordan.

How often does a fantastic estate with major international interest, come on to the market and get snapped up by a local? If this classifies a rarity then Lisselan is the exception. The former major of Clonakilty and businesswoman, Colette Twomey of Clonakilty Blackpudding, purchased the fabulous estate in a deal which closed in the last two weeks.

On the market for the circa three years with various agents, the holding was guided for €9m. A price cut became an apparent necessity after no sale ensued and the property was re-guided at €3.6m. Last year saw renewed interest for the package and the property was sale agreed back in October with its current owner. The final price tag of the estate is believed to be under the guide price and indeed under the €3m mark, representing very good value for the quality obtained. It is believed that investment will be put into the estate over the coming years.

Handling the sale was Catherine McAuliffe of Savills Cork.

The residence

The residence itself is a fabulous French styled residence built around the mid 1800’s. Inside the residence is a plethora of rooms, offices and stores. These include eight principal bedrooms, five bathrooms, a Bavarian room, an entrance hall, a dining room, a drawing room, offices, staff quarters, a wine cellar and a golf store room to name a few.

The accommodation is laid out over four levels, with the main reception rooms all found on the ground floor, the principal bedrooms over the first and second floor and at lower ground floor there is excellent accommodation including the snooker room (former kitchen) and staff accommodation. The well-proportioned elegant reception rooms, along with the Lisselan House characterful tower, have all retained their many period features. The residence is said to be homely, bright and spacious, with wonderful views to the extensive gardens below.

Other features

As well as the residence, there are circa 30 acres of fabulous gardens on the estate. There is also 1.5 km of a double fishing bank, ideal for someone interested in the past time. Woodland perfect for walks can also be found on the estate. When speaking with Catherine, she said that there are numerous buildings present on the estate including numerous houses, a golf club house, a pear tree cottage and a gate lodge.

Golf course and gardens

Of the 315 acres in the estate, 80 acres is made up of a nine hole golf course. Described by Savills as “one of the most challenging and picturesque of Irish golf courses to be played”, it is surrounded by woodland and has the Argideen River flowing through it.

A further big selling point is the 30 acre gardens, which surround the house. Dramatic features in the Gardens include the Japanese maple, rose wreathed pergola, water garden, and the towering trees.

The lands and farm buildings

The entire estates extends to a substantial 315 acres. 30 acres of this includes the house and its surrounding with 80 acres making up the golf course. The agricultural lands are a mix of tillage and pasture.

Typical of the area, the land quality would be good, with a gentle slope found in some divisions of the lands. The estate is bounded and interspersed in many parts by mature woodlands.

Once upon a time, the estate was part of a large dairy farm with new milking yards were built off site and the farm yard fell into poor repair. While there are a number of farm buildings, they are in need of modernisation.

The previous owners did add a block of 9 stables with tack and feed rooms and these remain in good order. The property has good equine roots, with Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Imperial Call once a resident of the estate.

The lands within the wider estate once included a gallop with the aforementioned rising gradient. It must be noted that this has not been used in many years. The farm yard has an abundance of buildings once used for milking, cattle over wintering facilities and for general farming enterprises. All in disrepair but offer the opportunity to be re-generated for alternative purposes if needs be.

Location

In terms of its location, the estate is located circa 5 km from Clonakilty and 50km from Cork city. An area famous for its rugged countryside, Lisselan is blessed by its wonderful surroundings. Complemented by the quality of the estate itself, the price tag was keenly guided.

When speaking with Irish Country living, Catherine said it was a great sale to be involved with.

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This week in photos: milking and the harvest continues
Our top photos from the last week include farming in Limerick, Tipperary and Wexford.

This week's front cover: milking in Co Limerick

Eoin Carroll from Ballyvolane, Co Limerick milking cows on the farm of John McNamara in Gormanstown, Co Limrick. Eoin is currently completing the work experience element of his Leaving Cert agricultural sciene project on John's farm. He is working part time on the farm and gaining experience in areas including grassland management, herd health and milking. \ Philip Doyle

Loading cattle in Co Limerick

Paddy Leahy from Kilmallock, Co Limerick transferring his Angus cattle to a trailer, having sold them to Foyle Meats in Donegal. Paddy says its crazy that he has to sell to a factory in Donegal but they are giving him the best price at the moment. Paddy farms Angus, Hereford and continentals. For the last few weeks he has fed them silage and 8kg of meal a day. He says it is a relief to get rid of them due to the drought conditions and the additional costs that that has brought. \ Philip Doyle

My farming week in Co Tipperary

Michael Condon from Newcastle, Co Tipperary delivers zero-grazed grass from Jim O'Leary's farm for feeding. Michael farms with his father and uncle in south Tipperary. The mixed farm is mainly in corn but also rears calves from neighbouring farms. \ Donal O'Leary

Harvesting in Co Wexford

Lester Rothwell harvesting Infinity winter barley in Lacken, Co Wexford. The crop was sown in the first week of October. Lester harvested a separate field of Infinity barley the previous day and got a yield of 3.3t/acre, but was confident that this crop will perform better. \ Philip Doyle

Harvesting in Co Dublin

The Fitzgerald family harvesting in Newpark, north Co Dublin. Cousins James and John are cutting Tower winter barley, along with James' sons Finn and Jack. The crop's moisture is 18.5% with a bushel weight of 67KPH. \ Philip Doyle

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This week in photos: Loughrea Mart and winter barley harvesting

Prime Minister visits but no new thinking
Stalemate continues in EU-UK negotitions on Brexit with positions restated in Brussels and Belfast on the occasion of PM visit

The UK Prime Minister spent Thursday and Friday in Northern Ireland and included a visit to the border in Belleek, Co Fermanagh. At the same time, the EU was publishing its advice and outlining specifically what would happen in the event of a no-deal Brexit, which was of little comfort to Irish agriculture either side of the border.

Restating positions

The PM’s keynote speech of her visit was delivered in Belfast on Friday and it bluntly rejected the notion that the backstop agreement of Northern Ireland (NI) retaining access to the EU services would not be accepted by the UK government if it applied to NI alone, effectively creating a border in the Irish sea.

At the same time, the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier was giving his first formal response to the UK white paper on Brexit, submitted a week earlier.

While the tone of his delivery was courteous and conciliatory, there was no doubt left that even as it was presented then, it was not going to fly in Brussels as it was looking for de facto membership of the single market for industrial goods and agricultural produce but not accepting the four principles of the single market.

The chief negotiator did, however, acknowledge that it was the basis for negotiation and he committed as did the new Brexit secretary in the UK government, Dominic Raab, to an intensive negotiation continuing over the summer.

No solution for farmers or business

Where does this leave farmers on the island of Ireland? A quick glance at the 16-page EU document published on Friday suggests that they, like all other sections of society, will be in a very difficult place, with the trading normality that is currently enjoyed, shattered.

As well as the tariff issue, sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) rules will be enforced on any trade from the UK to the EU, which will involve physical inspections. This is in addition to the tariff issue that has been frequently covered by the Irish Farmers Journal.

As the positions stand, redefined by the UK and EU at the end of this week, it is impossible to see the basis for common ground develop.

One side or the other will have to back away from red lines that they have drawn. The only possibility is that every negotiation needs stalemate, walkouts and lots of brinkmanship. The consequences of a no-deal Brexit were set out by the International Monetary Fund earlier in the week and unsurprisingly there are no winners, only losers. And Ireland would be the biggest loser of all.