Ballyholland no more!

‘An extraordinary scene was witnessed on the platform of the Newry (Edward Street) Station on Monday evening prior to the departure of the last train to Greenore.

A large number of young men and women belonging to Ballyholland were leaving for America and a considerable concourse of friends besieged the carriage doors, shouting and weeping with great vehemence.

The railway authorities, observing that the confusion which prevailed might lead to either serious accident or loss of life, had the carriages shunted further up the line, but to no avail, for the female relatives of the emigrants clung to the doors and gave vent to the most piteous cries.

As the hour of departure approached the scene became heart-rending, the emigrants making desperate exertions to shake hands with those outside, and the latter surging and crushing round the carriage doors.

Ultimately the whistle sounded and the train moved off, the travellers shouting …

‘Goodbye Newry and Ireland and ‘Farewell to the cot and the mount’  and “Ballyholland No More!”

The women thereupon bewailed the separation in agonising strains and the utmost vigilance was required to keep them from following the train along the line.

Altogether the scene was a memorable one in the annals of the Irish exodus.’


The above is an extract from an April 1884 edition of the Belfast Morning News (Irish News) and refers to Newry’s ‘forgotten’ railway line to Greenore.


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