Quick Facts About Listowel
Racing in the area was originally held at Ballyeagh, near Ballybunion but due to faction fighting was moved to Listowel in 1858. It was originally known as the North Kerry Hunt Steeplechase Meeting.
It started as a 2-day event but because of its popularity has been gradually extended over the years and in 2002 became a week long affair.
2003 Irish Derby winner Alamshar won his first race at Listowel in 2002.
When it comes to festivals nobody does it better than the people of Kerry. Holding festivals is what they are best at. Enter the words "Kerry" and "Festival" into an internet search engine and you'll get hundreds of thousands of hits giving details of festivals of all sorts, from swimming with dolphins (which they do at nearby Dingle) to the famous racing festival in Listowel, which runs in conjunction with the Harvest Festival, so-called because it was traditionally held to celebrate the saving of the Autumn harvest. Two Kerry festivals for the price of one! That has to be good, and it is.
7 Great Days In Kerry
It is now the joint longest racing festival in Ireland, at 7 days in duration the same as the Galway races and second in attendances only to that great event. It is the last major festival of the Summer and the last one before Christmas so the crowds make the most of the festivities. Traditionally it was the meeting where the farmers of Ireland came to spend/gamble the money they made from the harvest but it has since grown into something much larger and more wideranging than that and everybody and anybody now attends with a warm Kerry welcome guaranteed to all.
The course is a flat, left-handed oval of just over one mile in length.
How To Get There
Listowel is 25 km north-east of Tralee, 110 km north-west of Cork and 80 km south-west of Limerick.
Regular train service from Dublin (Heuston Station) to Tralee and Limerick from where there are special bus services to Listowel during the festival.
Kerry airport at Farranfore is 56 km away. Helicopter landings at the course can be arranged in advance.
|Adult:||€15 (June) €20 (September Festival)|
|OAPs & Students:||Half Price|
There is a dining room, self-service restaurant, snack bars, fast food outlets and many bars.
A corporate hospitality room is available which can cater for 40-100 people.
There are 2 wheelchair designated viewing areas in the stands.
There is always a lively atmosphere in the town during the week and always something going on such as street entertainment, busking competitions, music and dancing in pubs. Listowel and the surrounding area is known as the Literary Capital of Ireland and has produced many famous writers most notably the late John B. Keane, Bryan McMahon, and Brendan Kennelly. The Kerry Literary and Culture Centre in Listowel celebrates this great literary tradition.
There is a fine golf course in Listowel and nearby is the world renowned Ballybunion Golf course which has played host to such as Bill Clinton and Tiger Woods. Tom Watson is also a regular visitor to the club.
|Listowel Arms Hotel, Listowel||068 21 500|
|Marine Links Hotel, Ballybunion||068 27 139|
|Golf Hotel, Ballubunion||068 27 111|
|Cliff House Hotel, Ballybunion||068 27 777|
|Bunker Bar and Restaurant, Ballybunion|
|Horseshoe Pub/Restaurant, Listowel|
|Harty Costello's Pub/Restaurant, Listowel|
|Maid of Erin, Pub/Restaurant, Listowel|
|Allos Bistro, Pub/Restaurant, Listowel|
|Mai Fitz's, Pub/Restaurant, Listowel|
|Pure Drop, Listowel|
|John B. Keanes, Listowel|