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Listowel's More Recent History


Listowel is well known for it's literary tradition and colourful shop-fronts, also it's ornamental plaster work, which was crafted in the 19th century by a local stone mason, Patrick McAuliffe.

In more recent times, Listowel has gained distinction by the impressive number and quality of writers who have hailed from the area. Possibly the most famous of these is John B. Keane. He was made internationally famous when his work 'The Field' was translated to the silver screen in 1990. Dr. Bryan McMahon is also a renowned literary son of the town, known best for his short stories and also his book 'The Master' published in 1992.

For such a small town, Listowel has a lot to offer and is probably best known for its two festivals, "Writers Week" and "The Listowel Races". Both events are held annually. Writers Week is held in May and attracts writers from all over the world while the Listowel Races held in the third week of September is a horse-racing festival popular with racing enthusiasts and holidaymakers alike. Traditionally, it is also a chance for farmers to relax after the harvest season.

Farming is the main source of income, and many of Listowel's population of 4,000 would be directly dependent upon farming and it's associated businesses. Local produce from farming are often supplied to the Pubs, Guesthouses, Restaurants and Hotels in Listowel and can be enjoyed as part of the fare they offer.

Early in the millenium year Listowel was granted the status of "Heritage Town" in recognition of its contribution to the artistic, literary, musical and architectural heritage of Ireland.

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