The Galway Races start today at Ballybrit. The seven-day festival is the longest race meeting in Ireland and has always attracted huge crowds. RTÉ Archives takes a look back at the 1977 festival, when all previous attendance and betting records were broken in an estimated spending spree of £5 million.

Captain Luke Mullins and several punters tell RTÉ News what makes the Galway Races so special. Late-night bar extensions, three-card tricksters and Eyre Square street traders add to the carnival atmosphere.

A RTÉ News report on 27 July 1977.

The Galway Races run from 29 July to 4 August 2013.