Zero tolerance towards disorderly behaviour during Race Week

There will be a no nonsense approach from the gardai towards drunk and disorderly behaviour during the Galway Races.

The warning comes ahead of the influx of an expected quarter of million race tourists to Galway city for the seven day race festival.

Extra gardai have been drafted in to cope with the huge numbers visiting the city.

A spokesperson for the chief superintendent's office said, "We know that the vast majority of race revellers are good humoured and will cause no problems during the week. However, there will be no tolerance to any form of drunk and disorderly behaviour. We hope people enjoy themselves but not excessively.

"We are asking people to be vigilant, stay safe, stay with friends or make their friends aware of your whereabouts, and be mindful of pretty crime such as pickpocketing."

The value of Race Week is estimated to be €54 million to the local economy with many hotel's, hostels, and B&Bs booked out for the week.

National executive council member of Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI ) and secretary and public relations officer for the Galway city branch, Terry Tyson, said the pubs in the city fully support the gardais' approach to any anti-social behaviour during the seven days.

"Race Week is very important for pubs in the city where sales can increase by around 25 per cent. However, we want to attract sociable, real racing people who are here to enjoy themselves, the racing, and the city and are very well-behaved.

"Unfortunately in latter years a minor element has been attracted to the city who have caused problems. We do not want to encourage this type of behaviour or reveller so the pubs of the city are fully supportive of gardai action that will stop drunk and disorderly behaviour that would spoil the enjoyment for racegoers and businesses alike.

"Galway city is a vibrant city and every business including the pubs of Galway are doing the best to contribute to that. Galway Race Week is the best racing festival in Ireland and is only rivalled by Cheltenham in the whole of the British Isles.

"We hope the people of Galway and our visitors have a safe, carefree, and enjoyable week."

Restaurant to close for Race Week

In spite of the gardai crackdown on bad behaviour and the obvious economic benefits to Race Week, one Galway restaurant has decided to close its doors from Tuesday 1 August up to Saturday 5.

Restaurateur JP McMahon has decided to follow through on his decision last year to close his Michelin Star restaurant, Aniar, for the 2017 Race Week festival.

In statement to the press, the top Irish chef said cancellations, no shows, and disruption to services brought him to this decision.

The statement read; "Race week in Galway is one of the busiest in Cava Bodega Restaurant. This made the decision to close Anair during this week all the more difficult as it was detrimental to the business. Plus it is a great time to give the team a holiday during what is a very busy season."

Last year Mr McMahon described the drinking during the festival as "crazy" and highlighted an incident where a member of his staff at the Aniar restaurant was verbally abused by one young woman who was leaning against the restaurant window and urinating in the street.

"Someone was up against the window and was pissing outside the restaurant. We tried to get them to move. One of our female staff went over to her and said ‘do you mind?’ All she got back was an aggressive ‘mind what?'"

The Michelin star winning chef went on to say; “I don’t know what it brings out in the town. The town goes crazy with alcohol.”

Heightened security measures for Ballybrit Racecourse

New security measures will be implemented by gardai at this year's Galway Races in order to combat any terrorist threat.

Included in the new measures is restrictions on what can be brought into Ballybrit racecourse by punters.

Racegoers will only permitted to bring a bag no bigger than a piece of A4 paper through the turnstiles.

The tightening of security measures is in response to recent terrorist attacks in Great Britain.

Shuttle it to the Galway Races

Bus Éireann is providing racegoers with a special shuttle service to and from the racecourse throughout Race Week

The direct service, which will run from Eyre Square to Ballybrit Racecourse and back, starts on Monday July 31 and will continue to operate through to Sunday August 6.

For the evening race meetings on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, buses will depart from 2pm at Eyre Square West to Ballybrit – every 15 minutes – up until 7pm.

Buses will depart from the racecourse on demand, up until 9.30pm.

On Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday shuttles will depart Eyre Square West from 11am until 4.45pm every 15 minutes, and will return immediately after the races, up until 8.30pm.

Adult tickets for the Bus Éireann special shuttle service are priced at €6 single, and €9 return.

Tickets for children are priced at €3 single and €5 return.

No reservations are necessary, just pay on the day.

Bus Éireann regional manager west, Brian Connolly said; “The Galway Races is Ireland’s biggest and most famous racing festival that attracts hundreds of thousands of customers from all over Ireland and abroad.

“We are once again delighted to work with all stakeholders and play our part in helping racegoers experience the fun, craic, and excitement by offering a reliable, high frequency shuttle service to and from the festival. Customers can sit back, relax, enjoy the journey, and forget about the hassle, stress and cost of taking the car.”


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