in North County Kerry (population around 4000) was for many years a thriving market town serving
a wide agricultural hinterland. It is now more famous for its contributions
to literature. Playwright John B. Keane and the late author Bryan
MacMahon have been its most celebrated residents. The world's first mono-rail ran between Listowel and Ballybunion between 1888 and 1924.
of the local social calendar are an annual Horse-Racing/Harvest Festival
in September as well as the Writers Week Festival in early Summer which
bring visitors in their thousands to the town.
A market town on the banks
of the Feale, it first appeared (in the Plea Roll of 1303 /04) as Ltstothyl. The name probably comes from a local fort (or lios in gaelic) owned by a local lord named Tuathail. The town itself grew up around Listowel Castle which was built in the fifteenth century, the remains of which still stand in the middle of the town.