‘Vulture fund’ farmland sale lot removed from auction

Farmland in Co. Westmeath which had been up for auction online by a “vulture fund” has not been sold, according to the original owner.

The land had been scheduled to be sold today (Thursday, November 15) but was removed from the website in question prior to the auction itself.

The original owner, Hugh Reynolds, remains in a state of limbo over the issue.

Speaking to AgriLand, he said: ”It was taken down off the site. It doesn’t go away; I don’t know what the story is – they won’t talk to me.

I keep getting someone to ring them up and all they keep saying is there’s a ‘lack of legal documents’, so whatever that’s about I don’t know.

“Once you give them a bit of publicity they don’t like it. So the only thing I can do is keep battling on.

“There’s a place beside me; a medical centre. It was up today as well and I think it was sold,” Reynolds said.

The Westmeath man had placed an offer to buy the 44ac of land from the company but had been rebuffed.

This comes following at least one previous attempt by the fund in question to sell the land earlier in the year, which AgriLand previously covered back in February.

I put an offer on the table and they just refused me point blank. They seem to be insisting on selling this. I have to get the message out there that this land is not for sale.

Reynolds believes that the vulture fund in question bought the loan from the banks for 20 or 30% of the original value.

As was the case with today, previous auctions did not go ahead because the firm removed the land offer from the site, Reynolds said.

“You can imagine your land being up and you not having any say in it. What’ll happen, I don’t know.”