Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) president Tim Cullinan has moved to put the financial performance of his multi-million euro piggery operation in north Co Tipperary beyond public scrutiny.
This follows Mr Cullinan's Woodville Pig Farms making a successful application at the Companies Registration Office (CRO) to obtain unlimited status.
As a result, the firm, with an address at Woodville, Ballymackey, Nenagh, will no longer be required to file annual publicly available accounts at the CRO and instead can lodge an auditor's report, which is not required to provide a profit figure for the business.
The most recently filed accounts at the CRO for the business show that at the end of last March, the company's net assets had increased to €8.03m.
Breaking down that figure, it consisted of land, buildings, equipment and motor vehicles at €5.8m, livestock €1m, debtors of €537,000 and cash on hand of €2.8m minus creditors and provisions of €2.19m.
In the 12 months to last March, the company accumulated profits increased by €76,760.
This was down sharply on the €666,340 increase in profits in the prior year.
The company’s cash funds last year reduced from €3.465m to €2.87m.
The profit last year takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €151,517. Pay to the firm’s directors, Tim and Margaret Cullinan, last year more than doubled from €70,600 to €153,476. The numbers employed reduced by one to 16.
Last year, Woodville Pig Farms Ltd purchased pig feed from a connected firm, Tipperary Milling Company Ltd, for €4.6m and this followed an outlay of €3.83m under the same heading in 2021.
Woodville Pig Farms Ltd’s livestock had a book value of €1m at the end of last March.
Mr Cullinan’s firm has secured planning permission from Tipperary County Council for an expansion of his piggery operation.
The proposed development involves the number of sows, piglets and gilts to increase from 1,029 to 2,170, with weaner numbers to increase from 3,860 to 8,400, while pre-finishers are to total 3,900.
Woodville currently has a licence application before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in connection with the expansion on the 13.7ac site.
Pig farming commenced at the Woodville site in the 1970s and documents lodged with the EPA state that “the proposed development would improve the environmental and welfare performance of the existing facility, to increase stock numbers to sustain viability and to comply with the EU animal welfare regulations”.
The document also states that the proposed development “would have a positive impact on the local economy by providing temporary employment during the construction phase as well as providing job security for employees currently working for Woodville Pig Farms”.
The report lodged with the EPA application states that the potential for the proposed development to cause adverse environmental impacts during the construction and operational phases “is anticipated to be negligible”.