In association with - Galway's public transport information site

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Buses and trains to the Galway Races 2014 - August meeting

The following information is for services to the Galway Races in 2014. 

 See Galway Races Bus Services for this year's details.

The Galway Races Summer Meeting is from Monday 28 July - Sunday 3 August 2014.

This is a summary of the public transport and traffic-management plans.  Full details in the following sections.
  • Bus Éireann special races shuttle buses will run from Eyre Square.  Details below under "Special shuttle bus"
  • BusLink are running a Nightlink service to/from Athenry every night during race week, and shuttle services from Athenry and  Oranmore.
  • Both the route 409 - Parkmore  and route 403 - Ballybrit city buses go to the racecourse (Avenue entrance).  But there are some restrictions during peak racing traffic hours Mon - Fri - details below under "City Bus Services)
  • There are some alternations to regular regional buses during race week and the week after.   Details below under "Regional Buses"
  • Some extra train services are running during the week.  Details below under "Trains".
  • There is a traffic management plan for both private cars and public transport.   Details below under "Traffic Management Plan.

Race days and times

  • Monday 28 July - Hotels Day:   Gates open at 3pm, first race at 5:10pm, last race at 8:15pm 
  • Tuesday 29 July:  Gates open at 3pm, first race at 5:05pm  -  last race at 8:15pm 
  • Wednesday 30 July - Galway Plate Day:  Gates open at 12:30pm, first race at 3pm -  last race at 7:10pm
  • Thursday 31 July - Ladies Day:   Gates open at 11am, first race at  1:30pm -  last race at 6:05pm
  • Friday 1 August - Guinness Day / Local's day:  Gates open at 3pm, first race at  5:05pm -  last race at 8:25pm
  • Saturday 2 August - Ladbrokes Red Day:  Gates open at 12-noon, first race at 2:35pm -  last race at 5:55pm
  • Sunday 3 August - Mad Hatters Day / Family day - Gates open at 12-noon, first race at 2:15pm -  last race at 6pm

Special Shuttle Bus Services to Ballybrit Racecourse

From Eyre Square (Galway city centre)

Bus Éireann are running the races-special service between Eyre Square and Galway Racecourse.

Monday 28 July and Tuesday 29 July

  • Shuttle buses will leave Eyre Square from 3pm
  • The return services will start after the last race.

Wednesday 30 July and Thursday 31 July

  • Shuttle buses will leave Eyre Square from 11am
  • The return services will start after the last race.

Friday 1 August

  • Shuttle buses will leave Eyre Square from 3pm
  • Return services will start after the last race.

Saturday 2 August and Sunday 3 August

  • Shuttle buses will leave Eyre Square "as required" from 11am.
  • Return services will start after the last race.


  • Adult: €6 single and €9 return.
  • Children: €3 single and €5 return.
  • Free Travel Pass is not accepted on the Galway Races shuttle buses.


Shuttle buses will leave from the west side of Eyre Square (departure point is outside the Skeffington Arms Hotel on the west side of the square (map).   Drop off is through the tunnel entrance, within 50 yards of the course-entry.

These are shuttle buses, and do not pick-up or drop-off along the way.   (See "Regular Galway city services to Ballybrit" below for information about services which do.)

From Oranmore

BusLink are running races-special buses from Oranmore village to the Galway races.

Services leave the astroturf pitches (see the Oranmore neighbourhood map for the location) at the times below, and pick up approx 10 minutes later at the Maldron hotel, then go direct to Ballybrit.
Mon and Tues 3:30pm and 4:30pm
Wed 1:30pm, 2pm, 2:30pm and 3pm
Thurs 12-noon, 12:30pm, 1pm, 1:30pm, 2pm
Fri 3:30pm, 4:30pm and 5pm
Sat and Sun 1:30pm and 2pm
€7 single,  €10 return.

Return buses leave 30 minutes after the last race each day.

From Athenry:

BusLink are running shuttle buses from the Arch carpark (beside the two secondary schools), and picking up 10 mintues later at the Raheen Woods Hotel.
Mon and Tues 3:30pm and 4:30pm
Wed 1:30pm, 2pm, 2:30pm and 3pm
Thurs 12-noon, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2pm
Fri 4pm and 5pm
Sat and Sun 1pm and 2pm
€9 single,  €12 return.

Return buses leave 10 and 30 minutes after the last race each day.

From Claregalway

The Claregalway Hotel are advertising a Race Link bus, for €3 return, leaving one hour before the first race each day.

Or, see the Claregalway Neighbourhood Map for details of regular public transport services from to and from Galway City.

From Loughrea

Lough Rea hotel are offering a bus & BBQ package on Wednesday and Thursday - contact them to book.

From other towns

Some hotels in County Galway and beyond offer packages including races tickets and access to a shuttle-bus - contact them directly for more information.

Apart from that, there are not usually special services from other Irish cities.   Instead, use the use national and regional services to get to Galway:   these stop very close to where the races shuttle buses leave from.

Regular Galway city services to Ballybrit

The Avenue (back) entrance to the racecourse (number (5) on the Parkmore area map) is served by these buses, which pick up from all stops along their route:
  • Route 403 - from Eyre Square, travesl along College Rd, through Wellpark, Mervue, Castlepark and Ballybrit, then on to Parkmore
  • Route 409 - from Eyre Square, travels along College and Dublin and Doughiska Rd

The usual city bus fares (including Travel Pass and TaxSaver tickets) apply.

These routes will end at the Briarhill Shopping Centre Junction (previously the Lynch Roundabout) between
  • 2:30pm and 4:30pm on Monday and Tuesday 28 and 29 July
  • 12:30pm and 4 pm on Wednesday 30 July
  • 11.30am and 3:30pm on Thursday 31 July
  • 3:30pm and 5:30pm on Friday 1 August
The last bus-stop serviced during these times is at the top of Doughiska Rd (route 409)  or Clayton Hotel (route 403) - both shown on the Doughiska neighbourhood map.

People travelling at these times on route 403 or 409 to the racecourse, or to/from work in Parkmore area   (Parkmore West Industrial Estate, Parkmore East Business and Technology Park, Galway Technology Park, Racecourse Business Park Briarhill Business Park), will need to walk for approx 15-20 minutes from this last stop.   There are now traffic lights at the intersection, but these may be under manual / Garda control.  There is also a pedestrian underpass beside the Clayton Hotel.

NB  These times are based on the overall road closure times in the area, and may be extended if there are traffic management problems in the area.

Changes to regional bus services

Burkes Buses have cancelled these services for Race Week and the following week:
  • 7am from Dunmore to Galway 
  • 7:30am from Tuam to Galway
  • 8:30am from Tuam to Galway
  • 4:40pm from Galway to Dunmore. 
  • 5:10pm will operate from Galway to Tuam only, not to Dunmore
  • 4pm from Galway to Headford
  • 4:45pm from Headford to Galway

Bus Éireann have advertised these changes for Wed 30 July and Thurs 31 July:
  • 4:25pm Galway to Longford - delayed until 5:15pm
  • 5:45pm Galway to Castlerea - delayed until 6pm

BusLink have advised

All other Galway regional bus services are expected to operate normally during Race Week - though may be delayed due to traffic volumes.


As well as regular Irish Rail services, extra trains will run:
  • From Athlone and Athenry to Galway, and 
  • From Galway to Limerick 
on Wed 30th and Thu 31st July. 

Special fares (starting at €6.99 each way from Limerick, €9.99 each way from Cork and €14.99 each way from Dublin) are available - but must be booked on-line and in advance through the Irish Rail / Iarnród Éireann journey planner.

There will not be a shuttle bus service from Oranmore railway station:  catch the train through to Ceannt Station / Galway, and use the regular races buses as detailed above.

Traffic Management Plan for the Galway Races 2014

The full traffic-management plan is available on the Garda website.  In summary:
  • Traffic from the south and east (M6 / N6 or Oranmore) should use the Tunnel entrance - garda will control crossing the dual carriageway, and there will be no right turns at Briarhill Junction (Dunnes Stores) at peak times.
  • Traffic from the city and the west should use the Tuam Rd entrance.
  • Horseboxes use the Grandstand Avenue entrance, from either M6 Junction 19, the N6 of the N17.

A map of routes and entrances is available here.

Park and Ride

There is no Park and Ride service operating this year.