IN WITH A SHOUT: Punters cheer on their horse in the closing stages of the Galway Plate.

Crowds down, but Races still a success

Sunday’s family day sees big increase in race-goers

THE crowds returned in their droves to last week’s Galway Races festival, even if attendance numbers experienced a significant fall.

The 2022 instalment marked the first time in three years that the event was able to proceed without Covid-19 greatly affecting the number of racegoers being allowed into the Ballybrit venue.

This year’s final racing festival attendance finished with 116,720 passing through the gates, which meant an almost ten per cent decline on the 129,058 patrons from 2019.

Sunday, traditionally regarded as a family day attended by many Galwegians, was the only day of the seven-day festival that saw an increase in crowds on three years previous, rising from 9,988 to 13,240.

During the heady days of 2006, around peak time of the Celtic Tiger, 217,000 made their way to Ballybrit over the course of the week to bet on the nags, indulge in the hospitality, or just simply soak in the atmosphere ...

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