The IFA is holding a protest this morning (Thursday, July 29th) in opposition to the forced sale of lands in Co Offaly by a vulture fund, Everyday.
The farm is advertised on the BRG Gibson auctions platform and is scheduled to be auctioned at noon today.
The farm group is staging a protest at the Conway family farm in Rhode, Co Offaly, R35 DD21, from 8 am.
Forced sale of lands in Offaly
Martin Stapleton, the 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.
Proposal to make structured repayments
Stapleton asks the farming community to stand together in solidarity with the Conway family in opposing the sale.
“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.
The farm group said it will “stand firmly behind” farmers who are committed to agreeing and implementing a credible solution to settle their debts.
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.
“On the back of the strong offer made by the Conway family to repay this debt, IFA cannot stand by and allow this forced sale.”
“The fund and the auction house should halt the sale immediately and re-engage with the IFA and the Conway family,” she concluded.