The five people you’ll definitely meet at the Galway Races
The Galway Races brings all of Ireland together, and here are five people, or groups of people, you’ll definitely run into at Ballybrit.
Someone from school
The last you heard of them they were backpacking around Peru with a fella from Finland but as you head down to the betting ring to put a few bob on the Galway Plate, there’s your old friend.
The Galway Races are better than Facebook for finding old acquaintances and it is often the only place you will run into these people all year. Like salmon returning to where they were born, Ballybrit attracts the same loyal customers year after year. Where they go for the other 358 days of the year is a mystery. When we see them this year, we promise we’ll ask them.
Half of RTE
As well as the folks who should be there to work, like Tracey Piggott and the rest of the RTE Racing team, half of Montrose will also decamp to Galway for the week.
A few will be there for some outside broadcast work but the majority are there for the same reason as the rest of us; for the craic.
Daithi O’Se will be there for the week, as will Marty Morrissey, while Grainne and Sile Seoige, plus Catherine Thomas will also be guaranteed to put in an appearance. Why they haven't shot a 'Fair City goes to Galway Races' special remains a huge gap in the soap's credentials.
In short, if you want to rub shoulders with a who’s who of RTE Guide front covers, then you can’t beat Galway.
It’s funny how many teams end up having bonding sessions, in Galway, at the end of July. With the GAA calendar is in full swing any hurlers or footballers will be on best behaviour but it is off season time for Ireland’s rugby players, and they usually turn up in force.
They are usually hard to miss, as they are considerably bigger than most in attendance and if the weather does turn, they are quite handy to shelter behind.
At least one 'expert' tipster
With a staggering 52 races down for decision over the week, nobody is going to leave Galway with a perfect record. But you’ll find lads who claim they have/will/do every year. Sure, betting on Dermot Weld’s charges is usually a safe pick when it comes to Galway, but to go beyond that is nigh-on impossible as the Festival so often throws up surprise winners, even in the big races.
You will run into one, or possibly many more, so-called experts over the week. Like cod liver oil, take them in small doses.
Unavoidable at Galway as the Festival is almost as much about the off-track stuff as the on-track activities but that doesn’t mean we don’t like to see them.
Even if the Atlantic decides to douse the course, which it can now and again, there will be more stylish people per square foot in Galway than anywhere else in Ireland for that week.
Every milner in Ireland is flat out making fascinators and hats for the ladies while Louis Copeland is pulling double shifts just to get the men of Ireland suited and booted right now.
Irish folk love an excuse to get the gladrags on and Galway provides seven opportunities in a row and we take full advantage.
The Festival starts Monday 28th July and runs until Sunday 3rd August. For more information click here