The Galway Race Committe have confirmed that this year's Galway Races will not be open to the public, should the festival go ahead.
In a statement released on the Galway Races website, Galway Racecourse manager Michael Moloney said: "In light of the evolving situation regarding Covid-19, for public health and safety reasons Galway Race Committee has reached the difficult but unavoidable decision that the 2020 Galway Races Summer Festival, due to be held from Monday 27th July to Sunday 2nd August will not be able to take place as an event open to the general public this year. We know this will be a huge disappointment for all our racegoers that attend year on year."
Whether or not the festival will be able to be held at all remains to be seen:
"It may prove possible to run the Galway Races behind closed doors, dependent on Government policy and the approval of Horse Racing Ireland and Irish Horse Racing Regulatory Board. This would be for the benefit of the racing industry, our valued partners and our television audiences at home and internationally. We are currently planning for this scenario and we will update you on progress as and when we can."
A refund policy will operate for those who have already paid for admission tickets and corporate hospitality: "Galway Race Committee would like to reassure all of our customers that we will be operating a full refund policy. While the teams at Galway Racecourse and Lydon House Catering will commence this process immediately please bear with us as our teams are operating remotely due to the current Government restrictions in place. We appreciate your patience while this is being carried out."
"We would like to sincerely thank you for your support and understanding during this unpreceded time. Our thoughts are with all those affected as a result of Covid-19. We offer our deepest gratitude to staff at the HSE, front line workers and members of our community nationwide for their dedication and perseverance."
Meanwhile, the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2021 play-off match is now hoped to be played in October, with Interim FAI CEO Gary Owens telling FAI TV "“There has been a slight move on that. Originally, we thought it may well be November but it now looks like the semi-final is the preferred option in October. They don’t want to have the semi-final and the final of the play-offs in the one month. It looks like the Nations League matches will be in September and October with the semi-final play-off in October and the final play-off in November.”