In Mohill Mart
MARTIN COUGHLAN AUCTIONEER PJ Reynolds is in full flow at Mohill cattle mart. “He’s big for the money,” he declares of the perfect Charolais specimen parading in the ring.
The buyers agree and in 15 seconds the price has flashed up to €3/kg. The question then becomes whose desires are truly backed by bigger money. The hammer falls at €3.30/kg as another Leitrim-bred Charolais bull weanling heads south to the fattening lands of the midlands and the east.
Leitrim is suckler country and Mohill mart is one of a number of marts in the county that caters to the needs of this vital sector. “There are five marts in Leitrim so it’s not simple,” says manager Stephen Hannon. Indeed, but with its central location, in the south of the county, Mohill mart has been fending off the opposition successfully for generations.
History records that Mohill’s first agricultural show was held in 1927 and that the current mart
BRIAN FARRELL opened its doors in 1973, with the days of its famous fair then numbered.
But those bygone fair days have left a very tangible legacy in the form of what are known as ‘Monaghan days’ at Mohill mart. These are in effect show and sale marts held in the month of February whose origins date back to the time of the fair. At that time, buyers from Monaghan were amongst the most active, hence the name. Today, however, Mohill’s ‘Monaghan sales’ attract buyers from all over the country, a testament to the abilities of Leitrim’s farmers to breed quality.
In the background, however, lurks the concerns voiced by farmers of forestry and the future of sucklers. “In the farming sense, suckling is what we do here, not forestry. Mohill mart is built on that farming tradition and the profitability of breeding the best better,” says Stephen.
Above: This February 2017-born Limousin Cross weanling bull weighing 626kg sold for €1,550
Right: This February 2017-born Belgian Blue weanling bull weighing 370kg sold for €1,350
Left: This December 2016-born Limousin Cross weanling bull weighing 535kg sold for €1,200
Above: This February 2017-born Limousin Cross weanling bull weighing 665kg sold for €1,870
Left: Mohill’s ‘Monaghan sales’ attracts buyers from all over the country