Six years have passed since Markethill Livestock & Farm Sales, Co. Armagh opened its new premises at 12, Cladymilltown Road.
Sales – which have been operating in Markethill for over six decades – draws customers from Armagh, Down, Tyrone, Fermanagh and the Republic of Ireland.
“The mart is more than just a place to do business. For the farmers who travel from far and wide, it is a fundamental part of their lives.” a spokesperson explained.
“Like all marts, sales in Markethill have brought together people from every community to trade and, in many cases, built friendships that have lasted a lifetime.”
The land, where the mart was initially based, was owned by Greer Robinson’s father, who was the first managing director of the company.
In 1983, Greer and his wife became directors of the company. “Numbers increased in all sections for pigs, cattle and sheep in the 1970s and there were more people and stock about,” Greer explained.
The business grew in the 1970s and 1980s, but despite numerous downturns in the 1990s it "came out the other side and showed its resilience”.
“Two bombs hit Markethill – one in 1992 and one in 1997, one at a sheep sale and the other at a cattle sale.” Greer outlined who explained that extensive damage was caused to the mart premises.
Greer noted that mart day experiences have changed due to changes in lifestyles, workflow and legislation. “Years ago, it was more of a day out.”
The mart moved from Armagh town to a greenfield site in 2013, to bring benefits to its customers including easier parking and access.
“Over sixty years, a lot of things have changed in society, but the need for a livestock mart remains.” the spokesperson concluded.
[This video was shown on the opening evening]