A so-called vulture fund, Everyday Finance, has backed down from the auction of farm in Co Offaly.

Matt Conway and his wife Mary have roughly 90ac in beef and dairy and got into difficulty with repaying their loans when they were hit with TB.

Matt told the Irish Farmers Journal that the issues with TB persisted until 2017 when he converted to dairy. He says he engaged with the bank but they sold his loan to a vulture fund.

“In that time I got into arrears with Permanent TSB and I went to them and I asked them would they restructure the loan or put the few payments onto the end of it, I had no problem paying extra interest to try and get myself sorted out,” Conway said.

“The next thing I got a letter saying they were selling it on.”

Since converting to dairy in 2017 he says he now has a steady cash flow and means to pay back his loans but the loan was sold to a vulture fund which he feels were only ever interested in selling the land.

IFA farm business committee chair Rose Mary McDonagh said the IFA was fully behind the family and helped to lead a protest against the sale.

"It is regrettable that this action had to be taken. Earlier this week, the IFA put forward a very reasonable offer, on behalf of the farmer, but Everyday Finance rejected it," she said.

An online auction of the farm was scheduled for 12pm on Thursday 29 July, but following a protest led by the IFA, it has been called off.

IFA debt support service chair Martin Stapleton said he welcomed the decision to call off the sale.

“We welcome the announcement that the sale has been withdrawn and sense has prevailed.

“Now the hard work has to start, where everybody needs to start to focus on a deal that suits both parties,” he said.