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Saturday 24 March 2018

A native's guide to Galway Races: 'take a break from track and visit the fishing village of Roundstone'

Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

Pol O Griofa


The 33-year-old from Lettermore is in the midst of his 16th season starring as Mack on 'Ros na Run'.

"I like the races as my birthday falls that week – so the excuses are all good! But when it comes to picking horses I'm a true novice – I'd pick a horse by picking a silly name... Just shows you how much I know!

"My favourite place in Galway would have to be Lettermore Island – it has everything you need. As well as having great scenery, it has plenty of little beaches. The best thing about it is when the weather is warm you can always find a beach or two that's unoccupied. It is a nice quiet area, great for getting away from the busy city life.

"There are so many places to visit in Galway from the Arran Islands to the beautiful landscape of Connemara. There is a little gem – the fishing village of Roundstone. It's got great seafood restaurants and it's also famous for Dogs Bay, one of the top 10 beaches in Europe."

Colm O Fatharta


New York-born but raised in Inverin, Co Galway, 20-year-old Colm's face will be familiar to many racegoers as he has been playing the character of Evan on TG4's drama 'Ros na Run' for several seasons.

"The races have been a big occasion in our household for years.

"My relatives from America come to Ireland for the summer and accompany us to Ballybrit.

"We have been going for years, but sadly we're still not millionaires. We're not the greatest gamblers.

"My fondest memory from the Galway Races is when I was eight years old and I won IR£32 on a horse called Cailin Gaelach.

"If, like myself, you are interested in drama, then the Town Hall Theatre is worth checking out, and if you're interested in the cupla focal, then you can go watch an Irish play in the newly refurbished Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe."

Colman Mac Sealaigh

TV Presenter

The 31-year-old is originally from Churchtown in Dublin. "There's always a great vibe and energy in the build-up to the races and once they kick off, the buzz in the town is indescribable.

"One year when we arrived at Ballybrit, we had to cross the actual racecourse to get in. Once the race that was on finished, the gates were thrown open and we were off. It only took a second for the first shriek, as any girl wearing heels promptly sank. We learnt the going was soft that day!

"I have never ever had a winner at the races. Every year I change my strategy, sometimes it's colours, names in Irish or I just close my eyes and pick a horse.

"If I'm looking to escape on a summer's day, Spiddal is lovely with the craft centre and the amazing Builin Blasta cafe a must. And it's not even a half-hour's drive away. You could also nip to Gort for lunch in The Gallery, a great little spot.

"In the city, the market on Saturdays and Sundays is great. A Big Mick crepe will cure all ailments."

Irish Independent

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