Omey Island Strand Races, Galway

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A photo mosaic of horse racing on Omey Island sands in County Galway, made from photographs of gardens from around the British Isles.

Omey is a tidal island located near Claddaghduff, a few miles from Clifden, in the western edge of Connemara, County Galway. The races take place each summer on Omey Strand, the sand that connects Omey Island to the mainland at low tide.

The longstanding Omey Island races came to a halt in 1962, but were restarted in 2000 to celebrate the millenium.

Omey Island is believed to have been the home of a 6th century monastry confirmed by the discovery of a burial ground in the 1990s. There were settlements on the island from the early 1500’s, but was home to just a handful of households by 2000. Today there are no permanent residents.