Open livestock auctions will resume from today, Monday, June 8, onwards at Irish Cooperative Organisation Society (ICOS) cooperative marts across the country.

Confirming the news over the weekend, ICOS noted that the marts will operate strict protocols of social distancing, including recorded entry and exit, to ensure that visitors numbers are maintained at appropriate levels.

Commenting, Ray Doyle of ICOS said: “Through our discussions with the Department of Agriculture and all other stakeholders to date, it has been possible to maintain limited trading processes at the marts during the lockdown period to date.

The marts have put in place measures ranging from physical distancing mechanisms to reconfiguring seating arrangements and new methods of channelling visitors and livestock, to ensure the 2m rule can be maintained, including one-way systems wherever feasible and all necessary hygiene control measures.

The ICOS marts executive stressed that the capability of marts to resume full operations relies heavily on the cooperation of customers, buyers and sellers to maintain social distancing at all times and to work with mart staff to ensure this.

“In line with ongoing requirements for health and safety, we still recommend that only people with actual business to conduct should attend marts, and everyone should continue to be aware of the public health guidelines available at,” Doyle added.

We express our warm appreciation to our customers, all mart staff, farmers and frontline workers, including the emergency and health services, for their ongoing commitment throughout this time and onwards.

“The resumption of open auctions will support animal welfare, maintain the supply chain, ensure continuity in the national herd and will help to avoid any glut in the trade of animals, allowing essential economic activity to take place, while foremost in all our minds is to ensure that everyone avoids any possibility for the further spread of Covid-19,” Doyle concluded.