Over the last few weeks a number of heritage banners have appeared in Ballybay. These banners carry old pictures of Ballybay and the words ‘Ballybay Heritage’. The banners are the brainchild of Rory Mc Atavie who also sourced the funding and arranged for their production and erection. Rory has a wealth of research on Ballybay and for years had been toying with the idea of sharing a little of it. He made an application to the Town and Villages Renewal Fund and secured €3000 for his banner proposal. Ten different banners were produced and over the next few months the Ballybay News will provide the backstory to each of the images used. Speaking about the project Rory said, “This project would not have been possible except for the hard work and efforts of a number of people. I would like to thank each and everyone of them. Paddy Rutledge from the Ballybay Heritage group provided the pictures and some of the research. Fiona Mulligan at Monaghan County Council helped with the funding process. The banners were made by Coyles in Carrickroe. The banner supports were made by Ivan Armstrong from Armstrong Engineering. The banners were erected by Padraig Lennon. The overall project cost €3165 and the €165 above the grant was kindly paid by Martin Gleeson and Olivia Duffy from Ballybay Tidy Towns. A massive thanks is due to each and everyone of them”.

The first banner shows a train leaving Shantonagh Junction. This junction was located two miles outside the town just past Derryvalley Church. This was on the GNR line between Ballybay and Clones which opened on 7th July 1858. An additional line extended from Shantonagh to Cootehill via Rockcorry from 18th October 1859. The line closed just shy of its 100th Birthday in October 1957.
John Gregg (1867-1948) the inventor of the Gregg system of shorthand lived in the railway cottage adjacent to the signal box. His father George worked as a signalman before moving to Rockcorry as Stationmaster. Greggs shorthand system became the standard system in the United States of America and was taught in over twenty thousand schools worldwide.
The area adjacent to Shantonagh is home to first Ballybay Presbyterian Church which was built in 1786.


This picture of the train leaving Shantonagh Junction was used for one of the new Ballybay Heritage Banners