There is widespread speculation that Meath man James Mallon has taken over Ballinakill Mart in Co Laois.

However, when put to Mallon by the Irish Farmers Journal that he was poised to take over the mart he said that this “was not the case”.

Documents seen by the Irish Farmers Journal show that Mallon has formed a company called Ballinakill Mart Limited. The mart has been operated by CME auctioneers, owned by Colm McEvoy, since the 1980s.

It sells close to 22,000 cattle annually with cattle sales taking place weekly on Saturdays.

Mallon, who is the son of Liffey Meats founder Frank Mallon, also runs Viastar, a livestock exporting company which has been very active in recent weeks purchasing weanlings.

He was seen at the mart meeting farmers in recent weeks.