In association with - Galway's public transport information site

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Galway Races 2018 shuttle and regular bus services

The information below is for 2018 only.

Click here to see this year's Galway Races transport information.


The Galway Races Summer Meeting is from Monday 30 July - Sunday 5 August 2018.

This is a summary of the public transport and traffic-management plans.
  • Bus √Čireann special races shuttle buses will run from Eyre Square.  
  • Private bus companies are running special services from various towns and villages.  Some hotels are also organising shuttle services. 
  • There are some changes to regular regional buses during race week and the next week.

Race days and times 

  • Monday 30 July - Opening Day:  Gather Your Tribe
    Gates open at 2:30pm, first race at 5:20pm, 7 races, last race at 8:40pm    
  • Tuesday 31 July -  Sports and Social Day - Colm Quinn BMW Mile Handicap
    Gates open at 2:30pm, first race at 5:20pm, 7 races, last race at 8:40pm   
  • Wednesday 1 August - Galway Plate Day:
    Gates open at 2:30pm, first race at 5:10pm, 7 races, last race at 8:30pm
    Note:  this is an evening meeting, for the first time.
  • Thursday 2 August - Ladies Day: 
    Gates open at 11am, first race at  1:40pm, 8 races, last race at 5:50pm   
  • Friday 3 August - Friday's Most Stylish: 
    Gates open at 2:30pm, first race at  5:10pm, 7 races, last race at 8:25pm    
  • Saturday 5 August -Super Saturday  / Family day
    Gates open at 11:30am, first race at 2pm, 8 races, last race at 5:55pm    
  • Sunday 5August - Mad Hatters Day / Family day -
    Gates open at 11:30am, first race at 2:15pm, 8 races, last race at 6pm

Special Shuttle Bus Services to Ballybrit Racecourse

From Eyre Square (Galway city centre) 

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

Monday 30 July 

  • Shuttle buses will leave Eyre Square every 15 minutes or as required from 2pm until 7pm.
  • The return services will start at 7pm and run until 9:30pm.

Tuesday 31 July

  • Shuttle buses will leave Eyre Square  every 15 minutes or as required from 2pm until 7pm.
  • The return services will start 7pm and run until 9:30pm.

Wednesday 1 August

  • Shuttle buses will leave Eyre Square from 11am until 4:45pm, every 15 minutes or as required.
  • The return services will start at 7pm and run until 9:30pm.

Thursday 2 August

  • Shuttle buses will leave Eyre Square from 11am until 4:45pm, every 15 minutes or as required.
  • The return services will start at 5pm and run until 8:30pm.

Friday 3 August

  • Shuttle buses will leave Eyre Square from 2pm every 15 minutes or as required
  • The return services will start at 7pm and run until 9:30pm.

Saturday 4 August 

  • Shuttle buses will leave Eyre Square from 11am until 4:45pm, every 15 minutes or as required.
  • Return services will start at 5pm and run until 8:30pm.

Sunday 5 August

  • Shuttle buses are advertised as leaving Eyre Square "as required" from 11am.   
  • However in previous years, the special buses have not run on Sunday, and so most people catch the regular 403 or 409 bus.
  • Extra buses are usually put on route 409 to meet demand later in the afternoon.


  • Adult: €6 single and €9 return.
  • Children: €3 single and €5 return.
  • Booking is not required, or possible.  Pay in cash only when you catch the bus.
  • Free Travel Pass and TaxSaver tickets are not accepted on the Galway Races shuttle buses.


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

These shuttle buses 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  

No services running from Oranmore village this year.   Instead, use the regular bus or train to Galway city, and catch the bus from there. 

Note that the 29 July 2018 changes to Bus Eireann's Route 20 have reduced the number of regional buses stopping at Oranmore.

From Athenry

Buslink will run services extra from the Arch carapark and the Raheen Woods hotel to Parkmore at the following times:
  • Monday:   3:30pm and 4:30pm
  • Tuesday:   3:30pm and 4:30pm
  • Wednesday:   3:30pm and 4:30pm
  • Thursday:  12-noon, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2pm
  • Friday:  4 and 5pm
Return buses after the last race each day.

Fares  €9 single and €12 return

From Claregalway

Paul Nash Travel is running a daily shuttle service, with stops at the Arches and Claregalway Hotels.   For more information, call Paul on 087  81 61 400  or email

This year, the Bus4U special bus from Roscommon will also pick up passengers at Claregalway (see below for details).

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

From Loughrea

Lough Rea Hotel are offering a bus meal package on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday only.   Bus leaves the hotel approx 1.5 hours before the first race, and the return bus leaves 30-40 minutes after the last race.  

This is open to members of the public as well as hotel guests, but must be booked in advance - tickets are non-refundable and non-transferrable, and all tickets include the meal as well as return bus ticket.

From Roscommon

Bus4U will run one dedicated races bus from Roscommon each day, picking up in Athleague, Mt Talbot, Ballygar, Newbridge, Mountbellew, Newbridge, Abbeyknockmoy, Turloughmore, Lackagh and Claregalway leaving at:
  • Monday:   2:35pm
  • Tuesday:   2:35pm
  • Wednesday:   2:35pm
  • Thursday:  10:45am
  • Friday:  2:25pm
  • Saturday:  11:25am
  • Sunday:   11:35am
and returning one hour after the last race.

From Tuam

Scheduled Burkes servies from Tuam and Dunmore travel into Galway along the Tuam Road.   They have a regular bus-stop at the racecourse entrance at Two Mile Ditch, beside Kenny Motors and McMahons.  See North Galway regional bus services for links to their pages.

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 the College and Dublin and Doughiska Roads.

These routes will end at the Briarhill Shopping Centre Junction (previously the Lynch Roundabout) between
  • 3pm to 5pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 
  • 11.30am to 3:30pm on Thursday
  • 4pm to 6pm on Friday.
The last bus-stop during these times is at the top of Doughiska Rd (route 409)  or Clayton Hotel (route 403) - see the Doughiska neighbourhood map for locations.

Passengers going to/from the racecourse, Parkmore West Industrial Estate, Parkmore East Business and Technology Park, Galway Technology Park, Racecourse Business Park or Briarhill Business Park  will need to walk for approx 15-20 minutes from this last stop.

Also routes 403 and 409 will not use the stops nearest to the Avenue entrance after the race meeting ends each day.   Instead, passengers will get off / on the bus at the Parkmore roundabout stop (200 m north of the Avenue).   Affected times:
  • Monday 8:30pm - 10:30pm 
  • Tuesday 8:30pm - 10:30pm 
  • Wednesday 7-9pm
  • Thursday 7-10pm
  • Friday 8-10pm
  • Saturday 5:30 - 7pm

Note:  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.

The usual city bus fares apply, and Travel Pass and TaxSaver tickets can be used.

Changes to regional bus services     

BusLink have announced that:
  • The 5:10pm Galway to Athenry service will not run from Mon-Sat.

Burkes Buses have cancelled these services for Race Week and the following week, ie Monday 30 July - Friday 10 August inclusive:     
  • 7am from Dunmore to Galway 
  • 7:20am from Tuam to Galway
  • 8:30am from Tuam to Galway
  • 4:40pm from Galway to Tuam. 
  • 5:10pm will operate from Galway to Tuam only, not to Dunmore
  • 4pm from Galway to Headford
  • 4:45pm from Headford to Galway

Bus √Čireann have advertised these changes for Wed and Thurs:
  • 4:25pm Galway to Longford route 425 (via Mountbellew) will not leave until 5:15pm.
  • 5:45pm Galway to Castlerea route 429 (via Tuam) will not leave  until 6pm

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


Irish Rail are running extra trains to/from Galway as shown below.   There is limited capacity, and booking on-line in advance is strong recommended, for both these trains and for regular services.


  • 12:15pm Dublin to Galway


  • 9:40am Dublin to Galway
  • 8:40am Limerick to Ennis will continue on to Galway
  • 8:40pm Galway to Athlone


  • 7:35am Dublin to Galway
  • 9am Athlone to Westport

Regular services will run on all other days.

Traffic Management Plan for the Galway Races 2018

The full traffic-management plan for 2018 has not yet been made available.

However the 2017 plan and map are still available for download from Galway Races websiteand it is likely that a very similar plan applies in 2018.   Key points of this plan included: 
  • Traffic from the south and east (M6 / N6 or Oranmore south) can travel via Carnmore Cross and use the Blue Route - Avenue entrance - garda will control crossing right turn at Briarhill junction.
    There is no access to the Avenue entrance from the N6 Eastbound (Dublin road) during the road closed times (listed above, under city bus changes).
  • Traffic from the south and east (M6 / N6 or Oranmore and south) can travel via the old N6 and Galway clinic to use the Red route Tunnel entrance.
    After the Briarhill junction, races traffic use the right lane, and city traffic use the left lane.
  • Traffic from the north (Tuam) can use the Green route - Hill / Tuam Rd entrance - or turn left at the Parkmore Rd and use the Avenue entrance. 
  • Traffic from the city and west can use either the red entrance (via Bothar na dTtreabh), or the green or blue entrance (via Tuam Rd).
  • Taxis have a special lane through the Green entrance