• The Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has confirmed that buyers may return to mart rings, while adhering to public guidelines, from 17th May next. The decision was made at a meeting of the Cabinet yesterday.

    Online trading will continue to be facilitated, alongside the return of in-ring buying.

    Buyers may attend the sales ring and view stock in pens. However, this must be done by prior appointment with the livestock mart. Buyers who wish to be present at ringside must wear face coverings and adhere to strict 2m social distancing. Marts must also prevent the congregation of members of the public in the mart car park or at entry ways into mart buildings.

    It is important to note that cattle throughput from 1st January to 14th March 2021 was at 94% of the comparable period in 2020.  Sheep throughput in the same period was at 100% of the comparable period for 2020.

  • The Government’s blanket closure of all marts is disappointing given that the marts, that had remained open, had put significant effort and finances into staying open in a safe way while still enabling farmers to trade their animals.

    That’s according to ICOS –Irish Co-operative Organisation Society Ltd, a group that represents over 130 co-operatives in Ireland – including the Irish dairy processing co-operatives and livestock marts.

    Co-Op marts are owned by farmers and exist for farmers and ICOS is urging any farmer wanting to buy or sell livestock to contact their local mart manager as he/she can still arrange for the marketing of animals, albeit as the Government has decreed, they cannot market them through the physical auction sales ring. 

    ICOS is calling on the Government to now reconsider the ANC retention periods, as a matter of urgency, as if marts are now closed to a minimum of 19th of April then complying with the current 7 month retention period will be a problem.

    It insists that basic payment schemes and ANCs will never be more critical for farmers to comply with, in order to secure these payments, and  says the DAFM should prioritise this change immediately to alleviate the situation.

  • 40% of livestock marts around the country have a poor broadband service - according to the Government's own website.

    It shows marts in Mayo, Roscommon, Galway and Sligo are among 19 marts included under the National Broadband Plan to have their service upgraded.

    With 40% of marts failing to have decent broadband, the current restrictions allowing only online sales of cattle and sheep need to be reviewed, according to Roscommon-Galway TD Denis Naughten.


    Meanwhile, farming organisations are also calling for a limited number of bidders to be allowed in the ring at mart sales, while adhering to social distancing and other public health guidelines.

    The IFA, Irish Cattle & Sheep Farmers Association, ICMSA and the Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association have all called on the Government to make immediate changes to the current restrictions, to facilitate ring-side buyers in a socially-distanced manner.



  • Marts will remain open today, according to Mart Managers of Ireland (MMI)

    The Irish Farmers Journal says marts are putting a limit on the number of people that can attend sales ringside, as concerns over the coronavirus outbreak grow.

    The Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS) has announced that mart sales should be limited to 100 people. “The number of people attending individual mart ringsides at any one time will be limited to 100, which will be managed on a strict rotation system, ie using admission cards which will be rotated among patrons at the entrance/exit to the mart ringside or other such monitoring methods as devised by the mart,” ICOS said.

    MMI chair Eimear McGuinness says they are asking anyone that has no business in the mart to please stay away from them. 

  • From next Monday, it will be mandatory to wear masks at livestock marts.

    The Department of Agriculture has confirmed that the wearing of masks in marts will be mandatory from next Monday, 24th August.

    However, marts will be exempt from the new Covid-19 restrictions in relation to numbers in indoor spaces.

    There were concerns that the reduction in indoor numbers from 50 to 6 people would apply to marts, but the Department of Agriculture told the Farmers Journal that, according to its understanding, the restriction does not apply to gatherings such as marts, where separate rules and protocols already apply.





  • The Agriculture Minister has allowed some trading to continue at marts - despite the Covid-19 crisis.

    The Irish Farmers Association has welcomed this morning's announcement.

    Normal mart activity was banned last weekend when the Taoiseach's announced new restrictions to stop the spread of coronavirus.

    But this morning, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed says some services can continue at marts.

    He says mart managers can facilitate the sale of animals in some circumstances.

    A farmer can deliver calves to the mart, by appointment, and the mart can facilitate the sale.

    For older livestock, the mart can also allow a deal between a buyer and seller, in specific circumstances.

    Minister Creed says the measures will allow the food chain to be maintained - and protect animals' welfare.

    But he says normal mart auction activity can't resume until further notice.


  • A Roscommon-Galway TD insists it's vital that agricultural marts aren't forced to close because of the coronavirus crisis.

    There have been calls for marts to close, because of the restrictions on mass gatherings.

    The Irish Co-Operative Organisation Society says they can proceed, but are limited to 100 people.

    Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice says marts and factories need to stay open to keep the food chain going....