Opening of newly refurbished Donegal Mart heralds new era for farmers

Sue Doherty

Reporter:

Sue Doherty

Marian Harkin MEP will be the special guest at the official opening of the newly refurbished Donegal Mart this Friday, August 17 at 12 noon.

Marian Harkin MEP will be the special guest at the official opening of the newly refurbished Donegal Mart this Friday, August 17 at 12 noon.

A special Weanling Sale, with all major exporters in attendance, will follow the opening.

Volunteers will be busy roasting a pig on a spit all day and, after the sale, everyone is invited to join the farmers and mart staff for something to eat and entertainment at around 3-4pm.

Mart Manager Eimear McGuinness told the DPP/DD about the new look mart: “The biggest change we’ve made is replacing the roof. This was badly needed as the old roof was the original one dating from nearly 50 years ago. It was a massive job but now it’s completely transformed the place and it looks twice the size.

“The new roof cost about €100,000, most of which was raised through the new shares issue. We couldn’t have done it without the tremendous support of the local community.

“We also put in a new bridge for weighing cattle, at a cost of €12-13,000. It’s one of the most accurate systems in the country now.

“And we carried out a lot of other works to improve the amenities, and generally refurbish the mart.”

The mart was established in 1966 by local farmers and business people in Donegal town. This was to bring the sale of livestock in off the Diamond in Donegal town, providing better and safer accomodation for livestock and for farmers.

Mart Secretary, Seamus Carbin said: “The work that these people put in setting up and building the mart is being continued through the current project, and we are delighted this completely refurbished mart now, which is one of the best equipped in the north west.

“ We hope it will be of benefit to the larger farming community throughout south and west Donegal.”

Mr Carbin said that, despite reports that new regulations might mean a tightening of credit or trading terms at marts, this is not the case.

All are invited to attend the event, at which local clergy will bless the premises.