Category: News

MayoDay Logo

2018 sees the arrival of an incredible new flagship event Made of Mayo, taking place in the beautifully situated Ballinrobe Racecourse, which will be transformed into a hive of Mayo Day celebration and artistic wonderment, with something for all the family, admission is free and the event will run from 12.00 – 18.00.

Speaking about Mayo Day at the launch of Made of Mayo Peter Hynes, Chief Executive at Mayo County Council outlined: “One of the original and ongoing aims of Mayo Day is to promote County Mayo nationally and internationally as a positive location for business and tourism and to further enhance the image of Mayo as a progressive ‘Will Do’ County and the Heartbeat of the Wild Atlantic Way. Now in its fourth year Mayo Day has grown and now garners support from all corners of the globe.  Made of Mayo provides an opportunity for much of the creative talent in our County to be showcased and enjoyed at this stunning venue for the people of Mayo and beyond”

The multifaceted event will include a spellbinding Mayo Artists Exhibition featuring artworks from the best of Mayo artists, and artists inspired by their time in county Mayo. Coordinated by Mayo County Council Arts Office, and selected by director of the iconic RHA, Patrick T. Murphy this inaugural exhibition will reveal the true inspiration of County Mayo as seen through the eyes of the most talented artists.

Made of Mayo will have so much more to be explored including the Literary Loungea place of celebration of Mayo writing. Many people are unaware of the major success garnered by Mayo’s current young writers*, the Literary Lounge will tell their stories and celebrate their successes, with writers’ pictures and biographies, a bookshop selling Mayo books, signings, readings, talks, story-telling and a puppet show for the little writers of the future. Writers involved at the event include Elizabeth ReapeyTerry MacDonaghHelen Falconer, Faith Hogan, poet Ger ReidyBernard O Hara, and Michael Mullen with more to be announced. To add to the celebration of Mayo’s literary landscape, an exhibition of never-before seen photographs from the Liam Lyons Collection accompanied by a display of recently restored old maps of the Ballinrobe area, will be also be on view for the first time.

Formally announcing Made of Mayo as the flagship event for Mayo Day 2018 Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Cllr Richard Finn says: “Mayo Day is a celebration of the ‘Spirit of Mayo in communities worldwide, an acknowledgement of all that is great about our County and its people, a day in the calendar year that Mayo people can claim for themselves.  Made of Mayo on Mayo Day is a fitting way to celebrate our achievements and success by showcasing the finest of art, craft, design, food, music, sport and more. I would like to invite families across the County to attend what promises to be a superb event at Ballinrobe Racecourse on Mayo Day 2018”

Made of Mayo will also have lots of activities to choose from at its Workshop Hub. Well-known local chef Ronan Fox will be on-hand to teach how to flip pizzas and add the most delicious toppings at his Pizza Making workshop. Mayo Roads Safety Authority’s interactive Screen-Printing Workshop will be the first of its kind at a Mayo Day celebration. Families can work together in printing Mayo Day 2018 safety messages on high-vis bibs to take home with them, ensuring that all the family are safe and seen for Mayo Day and beyond. Haley Coleman’s Live Make-Up Demonstrations will also take place in the Workshop Hub, teaching her many tricks-of-the-trade to those lucky enough to grab a space at this free-ticketed event. *

No family event would be complete without a sports section to get the competitive juices flowing! The Sports Enclosure will include sports-drills and workshops from some of Mayo’s finest sports-people in rugby, football and many other realms. Andy Moran’s very popular team from The Movement will be on site to put participants through their paces through exercise and training skills, while Connacht Rugby’s Dave Heffernan will be on hand to run the very exciting Rugby Hub within the Sports Enclosure. More details including event timings and all sports personalities who will be involved are soon to be announced. The Sports Enclosure will also include the highly-anticipated inaugural Made of Mayo Hobby Horse Derby! An opportunity for friends and family to race each other and potentially some other well-known Mayo personalities, all whilst running with a hobby horse – this highly competitive race will be a must-see element of the day!

The Made of Mayo Craft & Design Showcase is an opportunity for premium artisans and designers to display their valued work in relaxed showcase environment. This opportunity allows people to purchase products and goods of the best and brightest local craftspeople in the county, and by doing so supporting local for Mayo Day 2018. We invite all businesses who produce products and goods in Mayo to *get in touch and let us know if they would like to be involved in this exciting element of Made of Mayo.

Music celebration and gastronomic delights await in the Music & Food Village, guests can enjoy tasty fare from Enrica’s Chocolates and Cabots Food of Westport, all the while being spellbound be the electrifying performances of Hit Machine Drummers and Cronin, whose popularity continues to dominate on the live music scene. And to really give a festival feel to proceedings food concessions will flank the central area of Made of Mayo with Mack & Spud, Clew Bay Cookiesand Killary Fjord Shellfish to name but a few selling their delicious hot and ambient food offerings. Special guests to the music and food line-up will be announced in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more exciting additions to the Music & Food Village.

2018 is Bliain na Gaeilge and what better way to celebrate Mayo’s rich Irish language heritage than by getting involved in La Mhaigh Eo at Made of Mayo. Representing Mayo’s three Gaeltacht regions the La Mhaigh Eo area will have live music, Sean Nos dancing and lots more craic agus ceol, including an opportunity for teenagers to win vouchers to Mayo Gaeltachtaí for summer 2018, competition details will be announced at the event!

So much more will be announced in the coming weeks, we ask that you keep an eye on and your inboxes for additional press releases and help us get the word out about all there is to enjoy at Mayo Day 2018’s Made of Mayo!

Racing Goes Ahead – Friday 13th April

Wednesday 11th April 

Racing Update

Racing goes ahead at Ballinrobe this Friday 13th April. The chases are cancelled. A hurdle race will be divided to make a 6 race card. There will be a new start time of 5:30pm.

Ground is currently heavy. Forecast mainly dry

Ballinrobe Prize-Money For Summer Season To Top €1million


The 2018 Ballinrobe racing season kicks off on April 13, with record prize-money of over €1million on offer at the Mayo track.  An additional date has also been added to the programme which now comprises ten racedays, seven National Hunt meetings and three Flat meetings including 13 feature races. 

The start of the season will also see the completion of the new stone-clad main entrance gateway into the racecourse. This is the final phase of capital development work at Ballinrobe through the Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) Racecourse Capital Development Scheme.

The new entrance, which is set back from the road, will give a greater sense of welcome and make it safer to enter and exit the racecourse.  Previous industry-related works included a significant overhaul of the stable yard incorporating new doors, floors and resurfacing, and a new machinery shed. Younger patrons were delighted with the new children’s soft play area while an extension to the balcony of the first floor bar offering great views over the racecourse was also well received. The combined project spend, with financial assistance from HRI, totalled almost €500k.

John Flannelly, Manager of Ballinrobe Racecourse, said: “We are really looking forward to another racing season here at Ballinrobe, kicking off with the first meeting on Friday evening April 13. We have an extra meeting this year which brings us up to ten meetings in total. We are very fortunate to have great support from the racing public and our generous sponsors every year, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to another great season. We are in the final stages of completion on our new entrance which will further enhance the many developments already carried out here at Ballinrobe.”

One of the highlights of the Ballinrobe fixture list is the McHale Raceday on Tuesday May 29, sponsored by specialist farm machinery company, McHale, now in their fifth year of sponsorship. Feature races on the day include the McHale Mayo National of €40,000 and the McHale Coranna Hurdle of €30,000.

The ever-popular Ladies Day on June 26 will again be sponsored by Vaughan with a cash prize of €1,500 up for grabs.  With shops in Ballinrobe, Claremorris and Castlebar, Vaughan Shoes is one of the leading shoe store chains in the west of Ireland.

The Tote raceday takes place on Monday July 23 which is also family day at Ballinrobe with a whole host of free activities for children, including a bouncy castle, colouring competitions, face painting and much more.

For further information and ticket bookings visit
Fixtures 2018
Friday 13th April (e)
Tuesday 1st May (e)
Monday 28th May (e)
Tuesday 29th May (e)
Tuesday 26th June(e)
Monday 23rd July (e)
Tuesday 24th July (e)
Monday 13th August (e)
Tuesday 28th August (e)
Friday 21st September (e)

Galway Girl is the Right Fit for Best Dressed Lady at Ballinrobe Racecourse

Best Dressed Lady at Ballinrobe Races was Caroline Whelan from Ardrahan(Second from right) , pictured reciving her Prize from Sponsors Laura and Ailish Vaughan of Vaughan Shoes. Also pictured is Marietta Doran on left, Judge. Pic:Trish Forde.

Caroline Whelan, a newly-qualified primary school teacher and event planner from Ardrahan in County Galway was the stand-out winner at the Best Dressed Ladies Day at Ballinrobe Racecourse on Tuesday 27th June. Caroline collected the top prize of €1,500 cash and each of the nine runners-up received a goody bag to the value of €130.

Best Dressed Lady at Ballinrobe Races was Caroline Whelan from Ardrahan. Pic:Trish Forde.

Caroline wore a royal blue jumpsuit from Sarah Jane Boutique in Magherafelt in County Derry and her headpiece was by Galway-based milliner Caithriona King. Caroline’s embellished belt was from eBay, shoes from Pennys and she bought her bag in the Galway Hat Shop.
Caroline said: “I am absolutely shocked but delighted to win Best Dressed Lady competition at Ballinrobe Racecourse, especially when there was such outstanding style here tonight. I started with my wonderful Caithriona King headpiece and built my outfit around that. The cash prize is so generous and I love going racing, so I’m going to spend every penny of it on style for the Galway races.”
Ailish Vaughan of Vaughan Shoes said: “Once again, we are delighted to be associated with ladies day at Ballinrobe Racecourse. The fashion stakes was extremely high and it was brilliant to see all the ladies who made such an effort to dress-up and come to Ballinrobe this evening. Sponsoring ladies day at Ballinrobe Racecourse is the perfect fit for us. Congratulations to Caroline and all the finalists – they looked fantastic. A big thank you also goes to John Flannelly and his team for a great night.”
Judge, Marietta Doran, TV Fashion Stylist and Event MC, remarked: I’ve had the privilege of judging

At Ballinrobe Races pictured was Stylist and TV Presenter Marietta Doran, who was judging the Best Dressed Lady on the Day. Pic:Trish Forde.

the Best Dressed Lady at Ballinrobe Racecourse for many years and I can’t get over how exceptional the style was this evening. It gets bigger and better every year. It’s a great testament to the stylish women of the West and the work Vaughan Shoes and Ballinrobe Racecourse do to promote the event.”
John Flannelly, Ballinrobe Racecourse Manager said: “The Ladies Day has really established itself as one of the best ladies days on the racing calendar. We were blown-away by the turnout and it was great to see so much colourful outfits and headpieces throughout the enclosure. No doubt, Marietta had a very tough job picking her ten finalists. I hope everyone had a great night.”

At Ballinrobe Races pictured were Finalists of the Best Dressed Lady Competition:Left to right: Race Committee Chairman John Staunton, Colleen Brady(Galway City), Michelle Barrett Manning (Belmullett), Isabelle Cummins (Ballinrobe), Paula Gannon(Athlone), Tara Lavin (Corrandulla), Ailish Vaughan(Vaughan Shoes:Ladies Day Sponsors),Best Dressed Lady Caroline Whelan (Ardrahan), Marietta Doran (Judge), Bernie McHale (Castlebar), Gretta Peters(Bansha, Tipperary), Helena Burke(Cong) and Mary Butler(Galway).
Pic:Trish Forde.

Stylist and Fashion Guru Marietta Doran to Judge Vaughan Shoes Ladies Day at Ballinrobe Ladies Day Prizes worth over €2,500 to be Won

Details have been announced for the Best Dressed Lady Competition at Ballinrobe Racecourse on Tuesday 27th June, the Vaughan Shoes Ladies Day.  TV fashion stylist, broadcaster and personal shopper, Marietta Doran will be guest judge, with the lucky winner scooping a cash prize of €1,500, plus gift bags for nine runners-up.

Following the success of last year’s event, local company, Vaughan Shoes are once again supporting the popular evening event, sponsoring the LadiesDay prizes and also the Vaughan Ladies Day Today Handicap. With shops in Ballinrobe, Claremorris and Castlebar, family-owned Vaughan Shoes is one of the leading shoe store chains in the west of Ireland.

There is no pre-registration for the competition, just simply look out for the Best Dressed judge and spotters on the day.  The finalists will be announced after the fifth race. 

Style Judge, Marietta Doran, commented: “I am really looking forward to judging the Best Dressed Lady competition on Vaughan Shoes Ladies Day at the Ballinrobe Races! This race meeting is one of the highlights of my horse racing calendar because the fashion is always amazing and the atmosphere is simply electric. The Mayo ladies always manage to up the style stakes each year so with that in mind I’ll be looking for head-to-toe glamour.”

The feature race is the Treacy’s Pharmacies Irish EBF Fillies Handicap valued at €26,000, and the first of a seven-race Flat card kicks off at 5:50pm

John Flannelly, Manager of Ballinrobe Racecourse, said: “Ladies Day at Ballinrobe is one of the highlights of the season. There is always a fantastic atmosphere and it is a great social occasion. We are delighted to have many local sponsors here today including Vaughan Shoes who are sponsoring for their third year, and another hugely successful Mayo company, Treacy’s Pharmacies.We greatly appreciate their support.”

The winner of last year’s Vaughan Shoes Ladies Day was Fiona Glynn from Ballinasloe, County Galway, who wore a floral 1950’s prom-style Chi Chi London dress from ASOS and her hat was designed by Leitrim Millinery Jennifer Wynne. 

Raceday tickets can be purchased online at, or contact the office on 094-9541811,

For further information contact: John Flannelly, 087 2895974