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Nestled on the banks of the river Feale is the lively market town of Listowel. The town is described as the ‘Literary Capital of Ireland’. Among its famous sons are John B. Keane, Maurice Walsh, Bryan McMahon and Brendan Kennelly. In July 2000, Listowel was officially designated as one of Ireland’s 26 “Heritage Towns”- in part because of modern environmental and renewal works, but also because of its architectural heritage and “historic importance”.


The present Castle was probably built in the 15th century by the FitzMaurices. The castle stands on an elevation on a steep bank, overlooking the river Feale. The remnants of the castle include two of its four towers, which are joined by a heavy curtain wall, and the unusual feature of an arch below the battlement.

Seanchai – The Kerry Literary and Cultural Centre is located in a beautifully restored 19th century Georgian Residence. The centre portrays the lives of North Kerry’s famous writers in a unique audio-visual experience. Take a journey with the Kerry writers through historical and scenic north Kerry in a stunning audio-visual presentation in the Landscapes Room.

St. John’s Theatre and Arts Centre is located in the Square. An ongoing programme of theatre, films, music, song and dance plus visual art exhibitions featuring national and international artists.

The Lartigue Monorail system operated from Listowel to Ballybunion. It was invented by French man Charles Lartique, the first of its kind in the world. Passengers and freight had to be equally distributed on either side. It ran from 1888 until 1924. The Lartique line is the only one of its kind worldwide.

The Vintage Wireless Museum in Listowel was opened in 1986 to mark 50years of broadcasting. 1200 items are on display including an extensive collection of receivers, many of which are extremely rare.

The Garden of Europe contains over 3000 trees and shrubs. The garden is divided into 12 sections, each of which represents the 12 members of the European Union at the time of the commencement of the project.

The Listowel River Walk is along the River Feale and traverses many distinctive features of the town. Distance 4km. The Sive Walk commences at the old railway station, on the Ballybunion road, and passes through wild bogland where turf cutting takes place. Distance 11km. Listowel has a golf course, pitch and putt course, fishing club, good restaurants and shopping.

Listowel Writers Week is held every year in May/June. This festival has been recognised as the primary event in Ireland’s literary calendar. The Listowel Races in September is one of the longest racing festivals in Ireland. It is the last big festival of the year and this is reflected with sky high attendances of 200,000 people.

Listowel is situated on the N69 and is located 27km from Tralee, 45km from Kerry Airport and 95km from Shannon Airport.

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