Hilltown sale yard celebrates 20 years

Members of the Hilltown Sale Yard Committee Patrick McConville, Thomas Hynes, Kevin McPolin, Ken Moore, John Farnan Chairman, Peter Farnan, Mary Savage, Leo Fearon Deputy Chairman with James Rice and Gerald Devlin.
Members of the Hilltown Sale Yard Committee Patrick McConville, Thomas Hynes, Kevin McPolin, Ken Moore, John Farnan Chairman, Peter Farnan, Mary Savage, Leo Fearon Deputy Chairman with James Rice and Gerald Devlin.

Hilltown Farmers Attested Sales have launched plans to mark the sale yard’s 20 year anniversary of the Marketing Centre.

First opened in 1998 on a five acre site on the Rathfriland Road, it was hailed at the time as ‘one of the most advanced and attractive agricultural development facilities throughout Ireland and the UK’.

The original Hilltown Mart outgrew its original facilities on the Rostrevor Road and in 1995 took the brave decision to invest £1.1M in a new ‘super-market’ which was opened in 1998.

It is 20 years since Hilltown Attested Sales opened its doors - standing as a pioneering force in local agriculture. Throughout that time it has survived the ebb and flow of turbulent livestock markets and most notably a five month closure following the outbreak of Foot & Mouth in 2001.

Hilltown Sale Yard continues to be a centre point for training from CAFRE and a meeting place for regular EU updates, as well as housing a bustling restaurant and more recently the addition of Glens Farm Supplies which opens daily.

Chairman of Hilltown Attested Sales Committee John Farnan said: “We’ve modernised the Sale Yard branding and signage at the marketing centre and we are also launching a special anniversary draw this weekend as a way of rewarding all our customers who support the sheep and cattle sales.

“Anyone who sells or buys through the yard during October is entered in a special draw to win a weekend break for two people, sponsored by the Carrickdale Hotel. November draw will be to win 20 dining vouchers for two people and in December, 20 specially designed hampers.”

Leo Fearon, Deputy Chair added: “We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the local farmers and business sponsors who have supported the yard throughout the years and continue to do so as we mark this significant mile stone.”