First Furlong at The Ardilaun Hotel

in support of Breast Cancer Research

It is that time of year again when the four star Ardilaun Hotel, Taylors Hill are busy preparing for another busy Galway Race Week Festival and one of the highlights this year again which is now in its seventh year is the First Furlong at The Ardilaun in conjunction with Breast Cancer Research which encapsulates lunch, fashion and races fever on Tuesday 1st August at the hotel. 

Kicking off at 12 noon with a sparkling wine drinks reception and entertainment by the Guinness Jazz Band, guests can dress up for the Races, soak up the atmosphere, enjoy a sumptuous four course lunch with wine, followed by fabulous fashion with Millinery Showcase with Catwalk Modelling Agency, featuring Galway’s most popular milliners who are Suzie Mahony, Caithriona King and Majella Dalton. There will be after dinner entertainment with the popular tenors Duo Vocis – Frank Naughton & Sean Costello, a treat not to be missed, with prizes for “First Past the Post Raciest Lady” and “Bookies Favourite Gent”, sponsored by Anthony Ryans, along with some fabulous raffle prizes also kindly donated by local businesses including a weekend away compliments of Select Hotels of Ireland, of which Ardilaun are a member.  

We are very excited to have Lisa McGowan of Lisa’s Lust List as special guest judge, fashion tipster at our prestigious event and master of ceremonies on the day, , so you can leave your car at the hotel for the day, and enjoy a complimentary coaches to transfer you and your guests to the Racetrack to make the first race for this evening meeting, with complimentary entry to the racecourse also. Alternatively relax and chill out in Blazers Bar and The Ardilaun Bistro with large screens featuring the Galway Races from Ballybrit. Avail of the free entertainment later that evening back at The Ardilaun with Three Men and a base, topped off with late night dancing to the Guinness Jazz Band.

Tickets are now selling for this prestigious event for just €75 per person all inclusive, therefore bookings are essential on 091 521433 or check out our video on or join our events page on facebook.

Proceeds from the event will support Breast Cancer Research (formerly NBCRI), a charity that is positively impacting future outcomes for breast cancer patients by funding world-class breast cancer research at NUI Galway.

PIC: Pictured at The Ardilaun Hotel recently for the launch of the First Furlong event for the Galway Races (L-R) are: Maria Kelly The Ardilaun Hotel, Lynn McLaughlin Anthony Ryans, milliner Majella Dalton, Professor Michael Kerin and Jennifer Skeffington of Breast Cancer Research, catwalk model Caitlin Nic Aoidh, and milliners Suzie Mahony and Caithriona King. This prestigious lunch, fashion and races extravaganza takes place on Tuesday 1st August with proceeds in aid of Breast Cancer Research. Photo by Wonderfulife Productions.

Lisa McGowan - Winner of Best Dressed Competition 2016 at the Galway Races will be our special guest judge, fashion tipster and MC for our First Furlong event this year.

See our Galway Races entertainment line up here 

Lisa's Lust for First Furlong at The Ardilaun

Lisa McGowan of the popular online Lisa’s Lust List, and winner of Best Dressed Lady at last year’s Galway Races, will this year judge ‘Raciest Lady’ and ‘Bookies Favourite Gent’ sponsored by Anthony Ryans at First Furlong  at the Ardilaun Hotel. The event, held annually in support of Breast Cancer Research, takes place on Tuesday 1st August and encapsulates all the fun of the Galway Races with lunch, music and fashion.

Lisa is renowned as a huge promoter of Irish boutiques and fashion businesses and highlights these in her Blog and social media channels. Since 2015 she has garnered a huge online following thanks to her brilliant blogs and shrewd style advice, and has become one of Ireland’s leading online influencers in the world of fashion and beauty.

Starting at 12 noon with a sparkling drinks reception, everyone attending First Furlong at the Ardilaun can look forward to a beautiful four course lunch with wine, followed by an afternoon of fashion with a millinery showcase hosted by Mandy Maher of Catwalk Modelling Agency.  Entertainment will be supplied by the Guinness Jazz Band and a very special performance by classical Tenors Duo Vocis featuring Frank Naughton and Sean Costello.

Tickets for First Furlong at the Ardilaun are available here or call +353 (0) 91 521 433.

 Meet the Designer

Claudia will be available on the day of the First Furlong to meet with our guests. She will be displaying silk scarf of her own design and will be taking orders on the day.

Claudia Taheny is a Designer who is specialised in Textile Print Design.  She obtained a BA Degree in Art and Design and a BA Honours Degree in Textile Design from the Centre of Creative Arts and Media in Ireland. 

Her work is inspired by the contemporary architecture of our landscapes and by the innovation of design and form. Geometric lines and curvilinear shapes allow for a Minimalistic approach in her work.  Claudia uses a combination of different materials to design her textile prints and to be inspired by the line and colour  from her drawings and photography. Her silk scarves  are 100% silk and then edges are hand rolled and made with finest of luxury fabrics and finished to the highest quality standard.

She is constantly aware of the ever changing textiles and fashion industry that her designs bring a futuristic approach with a luxurious finish. She is passionate about the textiles industry and most importantly the environmental impact production can bring to our world. Check out Claudia Taheny's designs on her Facebook page.

Meet the Jeweller

 We are delighted to announce that Noel Finan, Fine Cut Diamonds Specialist Dealer will be exhibiting his Private Collections at our First Furlong at The Ardilaun in support of Breast Cancer Research on Tuesday next.

This year Noel celebrates 25yrs in the business and we are delighted to welcome Noel who will display his diamonds and luxury watches, which will add to the glitz and the glamour of our annual charity luncheon during raceweek, see you there.

Noel Finan is probably Ireland’s most renowned Private & Personal Diamond Jewellery specialists. Established in 1992 Noel has a wealth of experience and credentials in dealing privately in the Diamond business. Why is Noel soo sought after? Being an Independent & Private dealer, he is simply a perfectionist, brutally honest and is willing to give the Trade Secrets to maximise the size of your Diamond. Visit his beautiful showrooms Monday-Sunday by appointment. More Information on his Facebook page.


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