Making hay behind the For Sale signs
The remaining bales of hay on the golf course at Park Hotel. Photograph: Ciara Wilkinson
A Dundalk farmer frustrated with the ongoing fodder shortage has taken matters into his own hands by helping himself to a large swathe of grass from the golf course on the grounds of the closed Park Hotel on the outskirts of Dundalk.
In recent weeks the farmer gained access to the receiver-controlled property and proceeded to mow about 84 acres of grass and bale it before making off with the bulk of it. It’s understood security intervened towards the end of his mission, but no charges have been made.
The incident has not been officially reported to local Gardaí in Dundalk, though a spokesman said: “There was a report of some people being on the golf course cutting grass but there has been no complaint forthcoming.”
Remaining large bales of grass are visible from the Armagh road and it appears that part of the boundary wooden fence has been repaired. It’s believed the operation took place over two days on the weekend of June 14th as the grass would have needed to sit for a period after it was cut and before it was baled.
The 84-bedroom Park Hotel and golf course opened in 2004 but closed in October 2010. It is currently for sale on 96 acres for €1.75 million through agents Savills and REA Gunne under the instruction of receiver Padraic Monaghan of KPMG. The receiver was unavailable for comment on the incident.
The hotel is located a two minute drive from Dundalk town centre close to the M1 motorway. It’s believed the property is close to being sold at a sum not far off the asking price.
Whether the potential buyer will be deterred by the removal of the grass from the land is unclear, but one industry observer said: “It’s not that big a deal. If anything the buyer should be delighted they’ll be getting a cleaned up site.”
Clearly this Dundalk farmer was determined to fully exploit the “agricultural potential” of yet another golf course that’s up for sale.