The Conway family’s 90-acre farm in Co Offaly has been withdrawn from auction.
The farm, advertised on the BRG Gibson auctions platform with an AMV of €420,000, was scheduled to go under the hammer at 12 pm today (Thursday, July 29th, 2021).
Farmers stood together in solidarity with the family in opposing the “forced sale” as part of an IFA-led protest.
The farm group said it will “stand firmly behind” farmers who are committed to agreeing and implementing a credible solution to settle their debts.
Conway family’s farm
Martin Stapleton, chairman of IFA’s debt support service, said that IFA had attempted to negotiate with the fund earlier this week on behalf of the family but that the fund was “completely unreasonable”.
“It is not acceptable for vulture funds to force the sale of land that has come as security with a debt bought from a bank when there is a viable alternative.”
“Vulture funds have no understanding of the family farm. Their only objective is to get as much money as they can as quickly as they can.”
“They are not willing to allow a reasonable amount of time for farmers to repay their debts. They just want to cash in,” he said.
“The Conway family put forward a credible proposal to make structured repayments. The vulture fund has refused the offer from the Conway family to pay the debt in full. This is completely unacceptable to IFA.”
Stapleton said farm families should get time to repay their debts over a longer term to keep the farm intact.
IFA farm business chairperson, Rose Mary McDonagh, said there is an inextricable link between farm businesses and family homes passed down through generations of farm families.