Call to reopening two Mayo rural railway stations makes sense

by Auld Stock

SOME years ago, Councillor Martin McLoughin, Castlebar, called for the reopening of Islandeady and Ballyvary railway stations.

It was a sensible suggestion but those who run the railways in Ireland don’t appear to have interest in the councillor’s proposal.

If the stations were located closer to Dublin, Councillor McLoughlin’s proposal would be taken more seriously.

That tells its own story. The west must wait.

Same situation since the foundation of our state.

Our Mayo Dáil deputies should be far more outspoken in relation to our railways.

A man who has fond memories of Ballyvary railway station is John Lyons, Laughtavarry, Ballyvary.

He recalls young local men returning from England for the Christmas holidays. There were hugs, kisses and family reunions.

‘It was a very happy time in the village.

‘Thank God the days of emigration are over.

“People from Ballyvary who go abroad nowadays go by choice and are well educated,’ John told me.

John Lyons likes to recall the time when John Hoban was in charge of Ballyvary railway station, a man who always kept the area nice and tidy and was very friendly and popular with local people and visitors.

John said his dearest wish is to see Ballyvary railway station reopened.

‘It was a shame to close it,’ were his final words.

I cannot pass Ballyvary without saying hello to an old and trusted friend, the one and only John Ruane.

John was a member of the outdoor staff of Mayo County Council for a number of years.

All the best, John. Up Mayo! Sam is on the way west.