IFA debt support service chair, Martin Stapleton, has called on vulture fund, Everyday, to engage “constructively” with IFA to agree on a solution with the Conway family in CoOffaly.
The Conway family farm was removed from an online sale yesterday morning (Thursday, July 29th) as a result of an IFA-led protest.
Vulture fund Everyday
Rhode IFA, the Offaly County Executive and the local community, stood in solidarity with the Conways.
The farm had been due to be sold against the farmer’s wishes in an online auction at noon.
The enterprise appeared on BRG Gibson auctions platform with an AMV of €420,000.
Everyday rejected ‘a very reasonable offer’
Rose Mary McDonagh, IFA Farm Business Chair, said:
“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.”
IFA Offaly Chairman, Richard Scally, thanked Offaly IFA and the local community for their efforts.
“We sent a strong message today that this type of behaviour by vulture funds is not acceptable.”
“Farmers, their neighbours, IFA and the farming community, in general, will not stand by and allow individual farmers to be picked off,” he concluded.
Ahead of the protest, Stapleton said that IFA had attempted to negotiate with the fund on behalf of the family. He said the fund was “completely unreasonable”.
“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.”
“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.
Stapleton said farm families should get time to repay their debts over a longer term to keep the farm intact.