It was reported this week in 1978 that the Northern Ireland Agricultural Trust had sold its 50 per cent interest in the Cairnryan Lairage Company to the Ulster Farmers Investment Limited.
The Cairnryan Lairage Company had been formed by the trust and Transport Ferry Service in 1975 to provide a roll-on/roll-off livestock shipping service between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
The company had built the most modern lairage in the United Kingdom at the port of Cairnryan and had accomodated almost 38,000 animals since it had opened in March 1976.
The purchase of an interest in the lairage fulifilled one of the conditions for receipt of government financial assitance by UFI Ltd.
Welcoming the sale, the chairman of the trust, Mr Dawson Moreland commented: “There could be no better example of the role which the trust seeks to play. By co-operating with private enterprise to bring this venture to commercial viablility and then withdrawing in favour of an organisation representative of many of thousands of producers, the trust has contributed to the development of the whole industry.
“I am confident that the Cairnryan Lairage Company will continue to prosper and to provide a valuable service to the Northern Ireland agricultural industry.”
The chairman of UFI Ltd, Mr William McCahon, paid tribute to the trust for the considerable effort which had gone into the establishment and development of the Lairage Company and said that he looked forward to “a long and mutually beneficial” relationship with the Transport Ferry Service.