Thursday 27 November 2014

Famous faces lead the way at Galway Races

Published 31/07/2013 | 20:19

Rugby Lion Sean O Brien at the Galway races
Rugby Lion Sean O Brien at the Galway races
President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina on a walk about at the third day of the Galway Races

Irish rugby star Sean O'Brien made his annual appearance at Ballybrit today.

Underneath all of the umbrellas, a few well-known faces were floating about Ballybrit racecourse today.

British and Irish Lion Sean O’Brien was enjoying his “last hurrah” before returning to training with Leinster, next Tuesday, and spent the majority of the afternoon in the shelter of the main totes tent with a group of childhood friends.

While he told the Irish Independent he's "not a betting man", the Tullow Tank, said he's a regular at the Galway Races each year.

Maura Derrane at the Galway races in Ballybrit Galway yesterday.
Maura Derrane at the Galway races in Ballybrit Galway yesterday.
Claire Dunlop from Kilkenny City and Edel O' Mara from Portumna Galway at the Galway races in Ballybrit Galway yesterday. (Steve Humphreys/Steve Humphreys)
Suzanne Mc Garry from Sligo Town at the Galway races in Ballybrit Galway.
Natalie Jordan from Fethard Tipperary, Ciara Murphy from Hospital Limerick and Emma Reale from Hospital Limerick at the Galway races in Ballybrit Galway.
Racegoers, from left, Gillian Aspil, from Dublin, Cathlin Ryan, Margaret Gildea, Josephine Ryan and Ann Ryan, from Drombane, Co. Tipperay, at the races. Galway Racing Festival, Ballybrit, Co. Galway.
Ann Marie Mc Manus from Ballsbridge Dublin at the Galway races in Ballybrit Galway
Racegoers Lucy Hennessey, left, and Deirdre Hennessey, from Limerick, make their way to the stand in the rain.Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE (SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
Racegoers, from left, Clare Wyatt, Robin Greenway and Lucinda Eames, from Devon, England, make their way to the stand in the rain. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE (SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
Racegoer Darragh Allen, from Ardan, Co. Cork, struggles with his umbrella during a day at the races. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE (SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
Racegoers Breda, left, and Mary Clancy, from Oughterard, Co. Galway, at the races. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE (SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
Suzie Mahony and Mary White in the centre photographed with models Mary lee on the left and Andrea Guerrero on the right (/)
Bairbre Power, left, had the pleasure of judging the Best Dressed Lady at the First Furlong lunch in aid of the NBCRI at the Ardilaun hotel today. The winner was Kathy Dillon, centre, from Galway. She wore a hat by local milliner Caithriona King. Her Diva dress in Galway colours was bought at Divine in Maynooth . Also pictured is contest judge, local Galway business woman Mary Bennett, owner of the Treasure Chest on Shop Street. (/)
Mandy Maher, owner of Catwalk Model Agency with Mary Lee (/)
Kathy Dillon who won Best Dressed at the First Furlong lunch which kicked off the fashion contests at this year's Galway Races (/)
Orla Winters from Tralee, pretty in pink at the NBCRI lunch at the Ardilaun Hotel, Galway (/)
Sheila Kelly from Athenry at the First Furlong lunch at the Ardilaun (/)
Dympna Laffey wearing a Caithriona King hat the First Furlong lunch (/)
Suzanne Burke at the NBCRI lunch in Galway (/)
Mary White and Andrea Tighe, two milliners whose work featured in a show at the First Furlong lunch (/)
Talented architect turned milliner, Fiona Mangan created this wonderful headpiece which Bairbre Power, right, wore when introducing five Galway milliners at the First Furlong lunch in aid of the NBCRI at the Ardilaun Hotel (/)
Miss Galway 2013 Laura Fox, left, from Moylough, Co. Galway, and Sophie Small-Donoghue, from Clarinbridge, Co. Galway, enjoy a day at the races. Galway Racing Festival, Ballybrit, 29 July 2013. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE
A general view of participants making their way to the start of the bridal race in aid of Special Olympics. Galway Racing Festival, Ballybrit, 29 July 2013. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE (SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
29 July 2013; Sandra Mullen, left, and Majella Kelly, both from Tuam, Co. Galway, at the races. Galway Racing Festival, Ballybrit, 29 July 2013. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE (SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
Maeve Waldron, from Athenry, Co. Galway, left, and Lola Donoghue, from Tuam, Co. Galway, at the races. Galway Racing Festival, Ballybrit, 29 July 2013. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE (SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
Yelis Tolga, from Moycullen, Co. Galway, makes her way to the start of the bridal race, in aid of Special Olympics. Galway Racing Festival, Ballybrit, 29 July 2013. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE (SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
Leinster's Fergus McFadden, right, and Sean Cronin at the races. Galway Racing Festival, Ballybrit, 29 July 2013. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE (SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
Leinster's Sean Cronin, left, and Fergus McFadden with Connacht's Andrew Browne and Bret Wilkinson, right, at the races. Galway Racing Festival, Ballybrit, 29 July 2013. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE (SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
Yelis Tolga, from Moycullen, Co. Galway, makes her way to the start of the bridal race, in aid of Special Olympics. Galway Racing Festival, Ballybrit, 29 July 2013. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE (SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
Corinna Maguire, from Oranmore, Co. Galway, after the bridal race. Galway Racing Festival, 29 July 2013. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE (SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
Maeve Waldron, from Athenry, Co. Galway, left, and Lola Donoghue, from Tuam, Co. Galway, at the races. Galway Racing Festival, Ballybrit, 29 July 2013. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE (SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
Iain Duff, from Downpatrick, Co. Down, studies the form ahead of the day's races. Galway Racing Festival, Ballybrit, 29 July 2013. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE (SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
Lynne Sampey, from Castlerae, Co. Roscommon, leads the bridal race past the stand. Galway Racing Festival, Ballybrit, 29 July 2013. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE (SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
Enjoying the Galway Races at Ballybrit yesterday was Sisters Clodagh and Regina Connell and their cousin Johanna Hynes all from Tuam. Pic Steve Humphreys 30th July 2013.
Enjoying the Galway Races at Ballybrit yesterday was 9 month old Teagan Leahy and her mum Caroline from Tuam Road Galway. Pic Steve Humphreys 30th July 2013.
Enjoying the Galway Races at Ballybrit yesterday was Fiona Caulfield from Oranmore Galway. Pic Steve Humphreys 30th July 2013.
Enjoying the Galway Races at Ballybrit yesterday was Alan Jordan (4) from Navan. Pic Steve Humphreys 30th July 2013.
Enjoying the Galway Races at Ballybrit yesterday was cousins Clodagh and Johanna Hynes all from Tuam. Pic Steve Humphreys 30th July 2013.
Enjoying the Galway Races at Ballybrit yesterday was TV Presenter Tracy Pigott Pic Steve Humphreys 30th July 2013.
Enjoying the Galway Races at Ballybrit yesterday was Sarah Flanagan and Shannon Foley both from Cong Mayo. Pic Steve Humphreys 30th July 2013.
Enjoying the Galway Races at Ballybrit yesterday was Faith Amond from Carlow. Pic Steve Humphreys 30th July 2013.
Enjoying the Galway Races at Ballybrit yesterday was trainer Dermot Weld. Pic Steve Humphreys 30th July 2013.
Pictured at the Galway Races at Ballybrit yesterday was TV Presenter Tracy Pigott. Pic Steve Humphreys 30th July 2013.
Enjoying the Galway Races at Ballybrit yesterday . Pic Steve Humphreys 30th July 2013.
A video tribute is paid to the late Colm Murray at Galway Races yesterday evening on the big screen. Pic Steve Humphreys 30th July 2013.
A general view of racegoers purchasing tickets for the seated area of the stand before the races. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE (SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
Regina Connell, from Tuam, Co. Galway, enjoys a day at the races. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE (SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
Jockeys, from left, Mark Walsh, Davy Condon, Shane Foley, David Casey, Robbie Power and Jane Mangan join together in a test of strength in aid of the Jockeys Emergency Fund. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE (SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
Jockeys, from left, Mark Walsh, Davy Condon, Shane Foley, and David Casey attack each other with inflatable hammers as they join together in a test of strength in aid of the Jockeys Emergency Fund. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE (SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
29 July 2013; Sandra Mullen, left, and Majella Kelly, both from Tuam, Co. Galway, at the races. Galway Racing Festival, Ballybrit, 29 July 2013. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE (SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
Sue-Ellen Scahill, from Castlepark, left, and Brid Madden, from Moycullen, both Co. Galway, enjoy a day at the races. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE (SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
A general view of bookmakers sheltering from the rain before setting up their stalls before the day's races. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE (SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
Enjoying the Galway Races at Ballybrit yesterday were nurses and midwifes from left, Noelle Greene from Tipperary, Sinead Walsh from Tipperary, Aoife Ryan from Tipperary, Kate Hennessy from Tipperary, Tara Johnston from Tipperary and June Petrie from Mayo. Pic Steve Humphreys 30th July 2013.

And despite forecasts of thunderstorms ahead, O'Brien, who was sporting a cast on his left hand following an operation on his thumb, plans to stick around for the remainder of the week.

While the weather may not have co-operated, the punters enjoyed a successful afternoon financially, with several favourites coming in with a win.

“The punters couldn’t have wished for a better day and Carlingford Lough really hit us where it hurts in the Galway Plate. It’s been a day to forget for the bookies and we’ll be hoping to pick up the slack over the next four days," a Paddy Power spokesperson said.

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