The name ‘Listowel’ derives from the Irish, Lios Tuathal, which means ‘Tuathal’s ringfort’. It is a market town in County Kerry on the river Feale, the largest river in North Kerry. The population of Listowel town is 4,832 (cso sensus 2011).
The town developed around Listowel Castle, which was positioned at a strategic river crossing. It became an important trading and market town whose relative affluence derived mainly from trade in butter and grain.
The town sometimes described as the ‘Literary Capital of Ireland’ and hosts an annual Writers’ Week Festival. A number of internationally known playwrights and authors are from, or lived in Listowel, including Bryan MacMahon and John B. Keane. The annual Listowel Races are an important national event in the racing calendar and take place in June and September each year.