In association with - Galway's public transport information site

Sunday, July 30, 2023

2023 Galway Races bus and train services

Public transport and traffic-management plans for the Galway Races Summer Meeting between Monday 31 July - Sunday 6 August 2023.


  • 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 31 July 2023 - The Opening Day:
    Gates open at 2:30pm, first race at 5:10pm, 7 races, last race at 8:20pm    
  • Tuesday 1 August 2023 -  Throwback Tuesdays, 80's Night
    Gates open at 2:30pm, first race at 5:10pm, 7 races, last race at 8:20pm   
  • Wednesday 2 August 2023 - Galway Plate Day & Country Music Extravaganza:
    Gates open at 2:30pm, first race at 5:10pm, 7 races, last race at 8:20pm
  • Thursday 3 August 2023 - The Guinness Galway Hurdle & Stylish Ladies Day: 
    Gates open at 11:15am, first race at  2:10pm, 8 races, last race at 6:10pm   
  • Friday 4 August 2023 - Friday's Most Stylish:
    Gates open at 2:15pm, first race at  5pm, 8 races, last race at 8:40pm    
  • Saturday 5 August 2023 - The Weekender:
    Gates open at 11:30am, first race at 1:55pm, 8 races, last race at 5:55pm    
  • Sunday 6 August 2023 - Mad Hatter's Family Fun Day:
    Gates open at 11:30am, first race at 1:50pm, 8 races, last race at 5:30pm

Special Shuttle Bus Services to Ballybrit Racecourse

From Eyre Square (Galway city centre) 

Bus √Čireann are running the races-special service between Galway city centre and the Galway Racecourse.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday

  • Shuttle buses to the racecourse will run from 2pm until 7pm, leaving Eyre Square as required.
  • The return services will run from before the 2nd-to-last race, with the last bus leaving Ballybrit at 10:30pm.

Thursday and Saturday

  • Shuttle buses to the racecourse will run from 11am, leaving Eyre Square as required.
  • The return services will run from before the 2nd-to-last race, with the last bus leaving Ballybrit at 9pm


  • 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 passengers are directed to the regular 401-Ballybrit or 409 bus.
  • Extra buses are usually put on route 409 to meet demand later in the afternoon.


  • Cash only  please have the correct change:  Leap cards, TFI Go and card payments are NOT accepted. 
  • Adult: €7 single and €10 return.
  • Children: €4 single and €5 return.
  • Buy your ticket when you catch the bus:  no bookings are possible.
  • 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 from 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 

Local businesses have coordinated a bus-service:
  • Updates will be announced on their Facebook page.
  • The bus stop is in the village, outside the Olde Brewery pub.
  • The first bus will leave the village at:
    4pm on Mond and Tues (three services)
    3:45pm on Wed (four services)
    12:30pm on Thurs (four services)
    3:30pm on Fri (eight services)
    1pm on Sat and Sun (one service)
  • Return buses will start just after the last race each day.
  • Tickets are available on the bus only.  They cost €13 for return bus transfer and a complimentary drink one of the supporting pubs. 
  • You must keep your ticket stubs for the return journey and your free drink.

From Athenry 

In previous years, buses ran from/ to the Raheen Woods hotel - services for this year have not yet been announced.

Regular Farrells of Athenry services to Galway city are likely to be running - they drop off in Eyre Square at the same place where the regular 401 and 409 services leave from, across the Square from the races-shuttle bus stop.

From Claregalway

There are three options for travelling to the races from Claregalway:
  • Bus4U special bus from Roscommon also pick up in Claregalway (see below for details).
  • Regular public transport services from to and from Galway City (see the Claregalway Neighbourhood Map for details) connect with both city and races shuttle buses.

From Loughrea 

Lough Rea Hotel are offering a bus package.  
This is open to the public and hotel guests.   It must be booked in advance.  Phone or email them for details:  (091) 88 00 88 or email

From Roscommon

Bus4U will run one dedicated bus from Roscommon each day, picking up in Athleague, Mt Talbot, Ballygar, Newbridge, Mountbellew, Moylough, Abbeyknockmoy, Turloughmore, Lackagh and Claregalway.   Departure from Roscommon is at
  • Monday:   2:30pm
  • Tuesday:   2:30pm
  • Wednesday:   2:30pm
  • Thursday:  11:30am
  • Friday:  2:20pm
  • Saturday:  11:25am
  • Sunday:   11:10am
and returning one hour after the last race.   (Note:  departure times slightly changed from last week)

  • Roscommom / Athleague / Mt Tabbot - €25 (return)  / €20 (single)
  • Ballybar and closer  - €20 (return)  / €15 (single)

Enquires:   phone them on 086 043-0753

From Tuam 

Burkes services 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 401 - through from Salthill to Eyre Square, and then travels 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 between approximately 
  • 3pm to 5pm on Monday, Tuesday,  Wednesday and Friday 
  • 11.30am to 3:30pm on Thursday.
The last bus-stop during these times is at the top of Doughiska Rd (route 409)  or Clayton Hotel (route 401) - 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 401 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 (200m north of the Avenue bus stop).   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.

On these buses, the usual city bus fares apply, and Leap cards, Travel Pass and TaxSaver tickets can be used.

Changes to regional bus service

Farrells of Athenry have announced that
  • The 5:10pm Galway to Athenry service will not run  this week.  
In previous years, the Nitelink service between Athenry and Galway  ran from Wednesday until Sunday inclusive. 

    Burkes Buses  have announced that:

    These services are not running during Race Week:     
    • 7:30am from Tuam to Galway
    • 1:40pm from Galway to Tuam
    • 4:20pm from Galway to Tuam
    • 4pm from Galway to Headford
    • 4:45pm from Headford to Galway

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

    The  1am CityLink multi-stop bus from Galway which was added as a temporary race week service in 2022 is now a standard part of the timetable.  It stops at Oranmore, Craughwell, Loughrea, Kilreekil, Aughrim, Ballinsloe - and all their regular stops beyond.


    As at the start of race week, no extra services have been announced.

    Traffic Management Plan for the Galway Races 2023

    The full traffic-management plan for 2023/24 is available here.
    And the accompanying map is here.

    This is similar to previous years.  Key points: 
    • Traffic from the south and east (M6 / N6 or Oranmore south) can travel via Carnmore Cross and use the Blue Route - Avenue (Parkmore Road) 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