The price of farmland in the West fell by nearly a quarter last year as compared to 2013, according to the results of a sales survey carried out by leading estate agents Ganly Walters.
Land prices in the West and North-West regions fell by 22.6% in 2014 with an average price per acre of €6,622 achieved over the course of last year, compared to €8,557 in 2013.
The biggest drop in land prices came in the 50 to 99 acre farm size categories, down from €9,772 per acre in 2013 to €5,005 an acre in 2014.
By contrast, land in the smaller parcel category of 20 to 49 acres enjoyed quite a lively trade with an average price of €7,964 last year, up nearly €1,500 on the 2013 price of €6,487.
Three land sales across the region in the 100 to 199 acre category made an average price per acre of €5,824 in 2014, up 16% on the 2013 figure of €5,022 per acre.
More land though is coming on the market, according to Ganly Walters, with 16,849 acres changing hands in 2014, a 25.4% increase on the volume of sales in 2013.
Robert Ganly, Managing Director of Ganly Walters, said that despite the drop in prices last year as compared to 2013, the average price was still 23% above ‘the trough’ of €5,386 per acre in 2010 during the height of the financial collapse.
He told The Connacht Tribune that he expected land prices to increase by 10% across the West of Ireland in 2015, but he added that farmland still was good value in region.
“There are a lot of part-time farmers in the West of Ireland and I would expect a price increase in the region of 10% in the coming year.
“The average price paid across the whole country for farmland in 2014 was €10,526, a slight increase in the national figure from 2013.
“Nationally the 2014 average is 20% above the trough of €8,667 per acre recorded in 2010, but is still as much as 38.4% below the peak price of €17,081 per acre recorded in 2008,” said Robert Ganly.
The survey also showed a massive difference in land prices across the western and north-western region as compared to farmland prices in the Dublin/Kildare/Wicklow region where the average price per acre was €14,064 in 2014.
According to Robert Ganly, signs of price stability in different regions including the West and Midlands were good news for farmers planning to expand over the coming years.
“At a time of uncertainty in the beef and dairy sectors, stable land prices can provide some assurance to those farmers seeking land in order to attain productivity increases,” said Robert Ganly.
The West/North-West region in the farmland price survey included counties Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Donegal and Clare.
Ganly Walters said that the land price survey was based on the prices disclosed for 212 farmland sales totalling 14,241 acres across the country both by auction and private treaty.
A further 2,613 acres that changed hands at undisclosed prices was factored into the figures at ‘the average disclosed price’, bringing the total estimated value of the national farmland sales in 2014 at €177.3 million.
Last year, Ganly Walters handled the sale of Tulira Castle in Ardrahan that carried a price tag of €6.5 million when advertised – the final sale price wasn’t revealed.
Pedestrian seriously injured in Furbo hit and run
A man in his 40s is in a serious condition in hospital following a hit and run in Furbo last night.
He was a pedestrian who was walking on the R336 road near Furbo Church, when he was hit by a car around 8.30pm.
The driver of the car failed to remain at the scene.
The road is currently closed with diversions in place while Garda Forensic Collision Investigators conduct an examination of the scene.
Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to the collision to come forward, particularly any road users who may have dash-cam footage recorded in the area between 8pm and 9pm.
Drug use in Galway at ‘frightening levels’ says top Garda
Use of illegal drugs has reached ‘fairly frightening’ levels across the city and county, according to Galway’s top Garda.
Chief Superintendent Tom Curley said that only about 10% of the drugs in circulation in society are detected by Gardaí.
He said that there had been increases in detection of drugs for sale or supply and for simple possession in the city and county so far this year.
Cocaine in particular was an issue in Galway, he said, but increased drug use was evident in “every village and town in the country”.
In his report to the latest Galway City Joint Policing Committee, Chief Supt Curley said that there had been a 22% increase in detection of drugs for sale or supply in Galway, up 14 to 78 at the end of September.
There had been 108 incidents of drugs for simple possession, up by 15%.
The amount of cocaine seized in the first nine months of the year amounted to €538,838. The level of cannabis seized amounted to €361,872.
Ecstasy (€640) and heroin (€2,410) were also seized, according to the Garda report.
Councillor Donal Lyons (Ind) said it was a concern that cocaine had overtaken cannabis for the first time, in terms of the street value of the amounts seized.
Councillor Eddie Hoare (FG) said that the Garda Drugs Unit needed to be commended for the seizures.
Councillor Alan Cheevers (FF) said it was concerning that use of cocaine had escalated.
In response to Chair of the JPC, Councillor Niall McNelis (Lab), Chief Supt Curley said there were some instances where parents or siblings were being pursued by criminals over drug debts accrued by family members.
He added he would continue to allocate resources to the drugs problem.
Up to 20-week waiting period for youth mental health service in Galway
Young people in Galway have highest waiting times in the state for an appointment with the Jigsaw youth mental health service.
That’s according to Galway West TD Mairéad Farrell who revealed that waiting times for an appointment here are currently up to 20 weeks.
“Figures released through a Parliamentary Question have shown there are significant wait times for counselling appointments with Jigsaw, the mental health service which provides vital supports to young people, in Galway,” she said.
“Demand for the Jigsaw service in Galway and across the State continues to grow, however, as a result youths are waiting up to 20 weeks to get an appointment. With young people from Galway currently experiencing the longest wait times at 20 weeks.
“Every expert in child and adolescent mental health will tell you that early intervention is absolutely vital in avoiding enduring and worsening problems in the future.
“Yet, these figures reveal that if a child or young person seeks out care they are in all likelihood going to be faced with extended waiting periods which are simply unacceptable and put them and their mental health at a very serious risk,” she added.
Deputy Farrell said that young peoples’ mental health had been adversely affected during the pandemic – with loss of schooling, sports, peer supports and even their ability to socialise with friends impacting.
“Jigsaw have experienced a 42% increase in the demand for their services and this cry for help from our young people cannot fall on deaf ears,” she said.
“There is also an element of postcode politics, that depending on where you live you may get treated quicker. Some areas have a three-week waiting time while others are left waiting for 20 weeks.
“Uniformed mental health treatment is needed – so our young people can access the care they need, when they need it and where they need it.
“I have called on the Minister to urgently engage with the service to provide a solution,” she concluded.