Ireland’s premier agricultural consultants

12 Sep , 2018  

The Rea Group have a team that provides a professional service to clients to help unclutter the complications of modern farming. We had a chat with founder / managing director Richard Rea to find out more about the wide range of agri consultancy, accountancy / taxation and agri-environmental consultancy services delivered.

Rea Group delivers Agricultural consultancy services to farmers, Solicitors and Insurance companies.  These include Land & Property and Business Transfer – Retirement; Family Disputes & Settlements; Agricultural Expert Witness Reports; Compulsory Purchase Orders; Mediation, Arbitration, C.A.P. Reform. Agricultural consultancy department meanwhile deals with the business end of farming.

“This can relate to more complicated aspects of farming businesses, such as the planning of inheritance and, as clients get older, advising in relation to wills, etc.,” says the Group founder.

“People need to carry out proper planning and engage specialists in this area as matters are more complicated now and proper settlements are needed. From a personal point of view, I feel that there is too much emphasis from the Government on young farmers and not enough on older farmers and those approaching retirement age.”

ACCOUNTANCY & TAXATION is the one of three key divisions within Rea Group. “We look after accountancy and taxation affairs for farmers, agri businesses and farmers who may have other businesses, as well as the formation of limited companies,” Richard notes. “Helen Guerin,  Kay Ryan, Regina Carew, Anne Dowling, Rosalee Tully and Teresa Coffey are instrumental in running that section.”  They deal with all form of taxation issues.

Rea Group has three decades of experience in Expert Witness Reports, acting as an expert witness for plaintiffs or defendants in agri-litigation cases brought before Arbitration, the Circuit Court, or High Court.

Typical cases covered are: farm losses arising from serious injury or death; contract disputes; agricultural chemicals; on-farm machinery accidents; marital breakdown; land disputes; and family disputes.

“We act for the injured party or the insurance company, or for the husband or wife in family law cases,” Richard adds.

Meanwhile, as independent CPO consultants, Rea Group supports farmers and property owners affected by Compulsory Purchase Orders for the construction of new roads or realignment of roads or other infrastructure projects, such as Irish Water acquiring Wayleave over land for water/sewage.  Gas lines  acquired by Bord Gais or electricity cables for ESB lines and underground electricity cables.

Rea Group having worked on over 800  Cpo cases nationwide from Wexford to Donegal. Richard represents land / property owners at oral hearings aspect of the CPO process, negotiate financial settlement of the CPO.

It is a core principal of the Rea Group that we only act for land owners on CPO’s and wayleave cases where the wayleave are being acquired for water, sewage, gas or electricity projects.

Agri-environmental services have become a big part of the Group, who prepare applications under agri-environmental schemes such as REPS & AEOS, GLAS applications under the Basic Payment Scheme, TAMS and Organics.

“Anne-Marie Clarke joined in 1994 and was instrumental in starting the environmental consultancy, covering Galway and Mayo from her base in Ballina. We also have Tom Dawson and Shane Hennessy in Tipperary, covering North Munster, South Leinster and part of Connacht while Joe Henry joined in 2015 and covers Sligo, Leitrim, part of Mayo and Roscommon and North Leinster.

Every member of the 14-strong Rea Group team is highly qualified. Richard, for example, holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science Degree, a Higher Diploma in Environmental Management and is a fully-accredited mediator. Tom has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science Degree, Diploma in Taxation and Advanced Diploma in Financial Management. Anne-Marie is a Master of Agricultural Science.

“The most important aspect of my business is my team,” says Richard. “They have been key to our success and the support of great colleagues, Willie Martin (Cork), John Crowley (Bandon) and David Walsh (Limerick).

“I have few regrets but one of the mistakes I made is that, from a business point of view, I should have involved my team as partners at a much earlier stage.”

“The best referrals you can get are client referrals; advertising creates awareness but it doesn’t mean somebody is going to engage you,” Richard continues. “We only take on assignments that we know we can deliver in a timely manner. Beyond that, I would recommend a suitable colleague elsewhere in the country. Of course, you would always find room for a High Court case and take it on.

“There were 15 agri consultants in Ireland when I started out and there are approximately 150 in Ireland now.  In fact, there are now more ACA with full-time offices than there are full-time Teagasc offices and our colleagues in the Agricultural Consultants Association are actually more available to clients than Teagasc. For this reason, I firmly believe that farmers should be given a voucher and allowed to choose between a private consultant or Teagasc so that the government subsidy to Teagasc is also available to the private sector for such work as basic payment, TAMS & environmental and forestry schemes.  The alternative is for government to withdraw that part of government funding from Teagasc and remove uncompetitive practices.”

Looking to the future, Richard says the plan for Rea Group is to continue to provide effective and professional services to all our clients. “I thoroughly enjoy what I do and so do my colleagues, he concludes. “We’re obviously very concerned about the impact Brexit could have on the farming community in Ireland and associated employment in Agri business that are dependent on a strong and profitable farming sector.

“The EU tends to have a lot of environmental protection schemes but it’s important that we don’t create a museum of the west of Ireland, where production and income could be a lot lower than other regions. The rural community would be even more devastated if that trend continues.

“There’s little profit in sucklers anymore and a lot of farmers would be better off being less productive where land quality is poor and to concentrate on schemes. But it would be against their culture and ethos and would be devastating for the rural economy. Farmers in Ireland want to be productive; that’s what’s in their blood.

“The present campaign to save our sucklers is critical for the future in large parts of rural Ireland.  Dairying is not suitable in every case.  Farming life is now far more complex than it was 20 years ago due to far more regulations which will continue to be more complex.”

Rea Group,

8 Grattan St,


County Tipperary.

Tel: 062 52166,

Fax: 062 52685,

Email: [email protected]

Web: www.reagroup.ie

Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 6 No 3, May 2018