I often walk in the Garden of Europe and I often post pictures of it here. I took it for granted that everyone knew what I was talking about. That is until Joan Quilter contacted me and alerted me to a whole swathe of my readership who have never been to Listowel let alone to this particular beautiful corner of our fair town. So this is for you, Joan and everyone who loves Listowel from a distance.
This is the Tarbert Road out of town. I usually walk to the Garden from this side. You can also access it from the Bridge Road side.
Pass the Topaz Garage on your left.
The local Emmets Clubhouse and grounds is on your right.
Next is St. Michael’s College, the alma mater of so many famous Listowel men.
After St. Michael’s you take the next right turn into Gurtinard.
Straight in front of you is the entrance to the old golf course.
Turn right here into the road behind St. Michael’s and the graveyard.
You are now in Gurtinard Wood.
Listowel Tidy Town Committee have done a great job of laying out trails for us to explore.
At this junction we choose to go left because that way lies our destination, The Garden of Europe.
If we were to go right we would eventually get to the town park and the pitch and putt course.
When we turn left, straightaway we have a choice again. Right leads to the park and left leads to the Garden of Europe.
This is the entrance.
At either side of the entrance some people have been given permission to plant a tree to commemorate a loved one.
Below is the link to the little video I made. (Yes I do know that an acorn grows into an oak and a conker is the fruit of the horse chestnut tree. I wasn’t prepared to do the whole video again because of a slip of the tongue.)
The Holocaust memorial
The garden is a delightful public tree filled space filled with peace, tranquility and birdsong. Listowel owes a huge debt of gratitude to Paddy and Carmel Fitzgibbon who worked so hard to get this beautiful place up and running. This was once the town of Listowel’s rubbish tip.
When you leave the garden, you may turn left into the path to the river.
This is the entrance to the garden from the Bridge Road side.
We are now beside the River Feale.
The river on a lovely crisp October morning.
Listowel people often refer to this as The Big Bridge.
This tree is magnificent.
The old handball alley is here too.
Beside the ball alley is the area under development by The Tidy Towns people as a community fruit and nut garden.
Then we come to the Millennium Arch, through which we can see Bridge Road.
The path leads us to the Square. Ignore the horrid building on the right (pictured below). That is the old Neodata building which was used for a while by Kerry County Council but is now lying unused. It is earmarked for demolition.
The houses on Bridge Road have a touch of old world splendour about them.
The Town Park is more correctly known as Childers’ Park. It is on our right as we walk up Bridge Road. Kay Caball told me its history and I told you before, so you’ll have to look it up if you want to know all about it and why some local people still call it The Cows’ Lawn.
On our left is the presbytery and St. Mary’s
And now we are back into Listowel Town Square.