Road 'could wreck famous Ballybrit course'
The controversial bypass plans have the potential to destroy the famous Galway races - worth over €54m to the local economy - according to John Moloney, manager of the Ballybrit racecourse.
Of the six routes, four will pass through the racecourse. Mr Moloney said it would stop the races for at least two years and could destroy the course completely if the tunnel option under the track was implemented. "The red route would take out our entrance that 43pc of our traffic uses. The blue route would tunnel right through the track.
"The pink route takes out our stable yard and the same with the green route. If we don't have the stables we can't race. It's part of our licence to provide the stables," he said.
Mr Moloney said the move could possibly have a much greater detrimental impact.
"If the land is part of a compulsory purchase order it would no longer be our property. We don't even know if we could race on it again.
"It has the potential to destroy the Galway racecourse forever," he added.
Michael Timmins, senior engineer on the bypass project, dismissed concerns that the races could be stalled for two years.
He said if a route that affects the racecourse is chosen then works would have to be fast-tracked on that section.