Stud farms buying large amounts of land labelled as ‘downright madness’

The issue of stud farms in Ireland’s horse industry buying up large amounts of land in parts of the country has been labelled as “downright madness”, by Independent TD, Mattie McGrath.

McGrath said that he had sought for the introduction of a land tax in his pre-Budget submission, for large conglomerates who purchase and hold land banks of over 750ac.

Speaking in the Dail earlier this week he said that such conglomerates, some of which are in his own area of Tipperary, need to “be reined in”.

While McGrath said that we have a world-renowned and world-class equine industry, they’re buying every little hamlet, every little perch and any bit of land at all that comes up.

“There are other horse industries in other parts of the country who are doing the same thing.”

It’s immoral, it’s wrong, it’s downright madness and very damaging to rural Ireland.

“We won’t have a football team, a school, a community, nothing, if one, two or three people buy up all our land.”

McGrath also said that Ireland had a Land Commission that did a great job and called for something like that to be reintroduced again.

“It must be dealt with. It wasn’t dealt with by the last Government or the second last Government. I’m disappointed with the low measures in the budget to deal with it,” he said.

The Independent TD’s comments come after it was reported earlier this year that farmers in parts of Tipperary were being priced out of land by Coolmore Stud and that land was understood to be changing hands having not being disclosed for sale.

The issue has led to huge frustration amongst farmers in the region and the stud is understood to have accumulated a portfolio of up to 20,000ac.

Speaking earlier this year, McGrath said that it’s just a mass amalgamation of land, it’s interfering with the market and that farm families are suffering as a result.