Meet Michael from Galway.
At the age of four Michael and his family left a farm in Limerick for a new life in Galway. They would still be surrounded by beautiful land but the animals would only arrive on certain days of the year. When his dad, John, became the manager of the Galway Racecourse, Michael found himself growing up on the grounds of one of Ireland's most iconic horse racing grounds. From the age of twelve he was working and his first job was cutting the grass.
Michael left Galway to study Economics and Finance in Maynooth University but he returned to Galway to complete his chartered accountancy exams with Deacy and Associates. He then started working as a Financial Controller for The Connacht Hotel before he longed to be back working on a race track. An similar role arose in Plumpton Racecourse and he packed his bags for South London. Within two years he was the Chief Executive, growing up on a racecourse had obviously paid off! Two years later he received a phone call to say his father was retiring, the role of General Manager at the Galway Races was open and Michael decided to apply.
Michael was successful in his application and while he had learnt a lot from watching his father take the Galway Races into the height of the boom and through the tough times of the recession, he knew he had a big challenge ahead of him. The Galway Races is an integral part of the Galway calendar, providing an estimated €54 million to the local economy each summer. It is also the biggest racing festival in the Irish Racing calendar, so it was important Michael worked to cater for everyone who wanted to experience this occasion. Within one year, along with his team, he succeeded in winning the "Racecourse of the Year 2016." Michael has big plans for this year, starting with a €6 million investment which will see a new Tote building built for the 2018 years summer festival. To make sure you experience this traditional Galway experience yourself check out the website here for more details.