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Aengus McMahon

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Mayoral Reception for the Galway Race Committee June 8th 2016

Jun 8, 2016

Galway City Council honoured the outstanding achievements of the Galway Race Committee and former Galway Racecourse Manager, Mr. John Moloney, at a mayoral reception held in City Hall on Wednesday the 8th of June. The Mayor of the City of Galway, Councillor Frank Fahy hosted the reception to acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding sporting, economic and social achievements of the committee behind the Galway Races and former manager of Galway Racecourse, John Moloney.

Galway Racecourse, situated at Ballybrit, is an internationally renowned state-of-the-art horseracing facility. The seven-day Galway Racing Festival is held during the last week of July each year and has established itself as one of the social and sporting highlights of the Irish Summer. A national cultural and sporting asset, in 2009, the Racecourse was ranked fourth in the world in terms of the overall appeal of the course and facilities on offer. 148,000 people attended the Galway Festival in 2015 - this number accounted for 12% of all race attendees last year in the whole of Ireland.

The Galway Races contributes at least €54 million to the local economy on an annual basis, providing jobs across the county, not only during the festival itself but in the weeks before and after the festival. Irish and United Kingdom television audiences for the Galway Festival in 2014 peaked at 606,000 viewers while Bookmaker and Tote betting at Galway that year were €10.6 million and €5.7 million respectively, accounting for 13.2% and 10.3% of national betting respectively for that year.

Galway Race Committee has continually invested in racecourse facilities over the past 25 years, spending an estimated €50 million on upgrades over this time, with the development of the Millennium and Killannin Stands, traffic and pedestrian tunnels, and a new office building and media centre. Alongside significant upgrades to the racing surface itself, this ongoing evolutionary process is in keeping with international trends and demands, ensuring that Ballybrit Racecourse holds onto its worldwide ranking.

It is the intention of Galway Race Committee to ensure that Galway Racecourse remains a market leader, continues to grow and evolve as a racing destination and maintains its contribution to the economic, sporting and social life of Galway City and the wider region.

During the reception, the Mayor also honoured Mr. John Moloney, the former manager of Galway Racecourse, who throughout his 26-year stewardship oversaw capital development projects at the racecourse. During his speech, Mayor Fahy commended the work of Mr. Moloney stating,

"John's legacy proves that dedication and determination do pay off and ensures that the Galway Races will continue to grow and prosper in the years to come".