Ballybrit Racecourse Galway | The Galway Races

Ballybrit Racecourse began in the year of 1869, and is located in the Parish of Castlegar, County Galway, Ireland.

Elevation; 140 feet

 

  • This place is well known as The Galway Races, because of its long tradition and the fact that it is the only Racecourse for Horses, near the City.
  • Also known as a Family Event, where the Amateur can mix freely with the professional punter.
  • Historically flat while well elevated, the site is ideal.
  • About three miles East of Galway City.
  • See a Map
  • Modern times - facilities are of a standard that they can and are, used for non- Racing purposes, Exams, Meetings, etc.,
  • Also to be the Venue for The Castlegar Gathering, 2013.
  • The Last Leg of the 100kforCormac, fundraiser for Pieta House, was here in August 2014.
  • Townland - Ballybrit.
  • Parish - Castlegar.
  • Entrance - Back Gate, opposite Ballybrit Crescent; 53.297285 , -8.986170
  • Entrance from the Tuam road (N17); 53.299619 , -9.007849
  • Temporary entrance onto the Dual Carraigeway, to the South of the Racecourse; 53.292089, -8.995488
  • Nearest Roundabout - Lynch Roundabout (less than a thousand metres south east of the course.
  • Youtube Video (new window)
  • William Butler Yeats, the Irish Poet wrote a poem; At Galway Races, which can be read at http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/at-galway-races/
  • Luke Kelly -  famous song.
  • Captain Luke Mullins (R.I.P. , 2019) was the Manager here for almost 20 Years. He was followed by Mr. John Moloney and John's Son is currently in charge (2019).
  • Ballybrit Castle is part of the grounds here.
  • Papal Visit - John Paul the 2nd., 1979, and no one local had to buy Blue Rope for years afterwards. Roadstone Quarry in Pollkeen (Two Mile Ditch), along with many other places, was commandeered and Yellow School Buses from all over the Country, used that facility to park. The throngs of People that invaded Ballybrit that day, was a strange experience. Foreign (yet still Irish) accents, were everywhere, and local Homes responded to requests for the use of their Bathroom facilities. The Bish, among others, ferried out Students for the clean-up operation after the event. See a Video of the Ballybrit Papal Visit narrated by the Brian Farrell. It was probably the first time that a Helicopter landed here?.

Pope John Paul, BallybritPlaque

  • Digital (D.E.C.) moves to Galway at Mervue and later buy their own land beside the Course 1971. Burke of Parkmore had it prior.
  • Race course bell
  • June, 2014. A successful fundraiser - ‘Ireland Heads West for Emma’ Classic & Vintage Show.
  • The Stands are impressive, colourful and largely practical. They also offer an elevated view of Ballybrit in general, are in the same general position as they were for the Papal visit, and look to the refurbished Ballybrit Castle.

Corrib Stand - locals knew them as the "Alley" (ref. D.C.) - must have been majestic in 1955, but lesser so, as the Century moved on. Knocked with some fanfare and replaced by the following;

  • The Millenium Stand - Foundation stone layed by Joe Walsh (T.D.), 25th Oct. 1998.
  • Killanin Stand - officially opened by Bertie Ahern, 9th July, 2007.

See a wonderful Photograph, taken from the Stand in or around 1964 on Facebook.