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Cnoc na gCaiseal
Knocknagashel is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 52°19′52″N 9°41′11″W / 52.331138°N 9.686407°W / 52.331138; -9.686407Coordinates: 52°19′52″N 9°41′11″W / 52.331138°N 9.686407°W / 52.331138; -9.686407
Country Ireland
Province Munster
County County Kerry
Population (2006)
 • Urban 760
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) IST (WEST) (UTC-1)
Irish Grid Reference R055208

Knocknagoshel, officially Knocknagashel (Irish: Cnoc na gCaiseal, meaning "hill of the stone ringfort"),[1][2] is a village in County Kerry, Ireland. According to the 2006 census, the population of the parish was 760.[3]


Knocknagoshel is a village in northeast County Kerry, close to the Limerick border and close enough to the Cork border. Knocknagoshel is a place remembered in Irish history for the extraordinary banner carried aloft by local men at a rally addressed by Irish politician Charles Stewart Parnell, in Newcastle West in 1891. "Arise Knocknagoshel, and take your place among the nations of the earth!" The banner-bearing of 1891 is today commemorated with a plaque on the gable end of a house in the centre of Knocknagoshel village.

Just outside the village is a steeply inclined field, which in 1923 was part of Baranarigh Wood, where five soldiers of the Irish Free State National Army were killed by a booby trap mine on 6 March of that year during the Irish Civil War. The men killed at Knocknagoshel included three officers and two privates, one of whom was a local man. Lieutenant Pat O’Connor was targeted by the Anti-Treaty IRA because of his knowledge of the local IRA organisation and the men involved in it and because of the brutal manner in which he pursued the anti-treaty guerrillas. The soldiers were lured into the trap by false information about a Republican dug out in the area. The atrocity was to lead to a series of reprisals against the anti-treaty side; Free State troops killed 19 Republican prisoners in Kerry over the following two weeks (see Executions during the Irish Civil War).

The Gaelic footballer Eddie Walsh, who played at half-back with the Kerry senior football team, was from Knocknagoshel.

Festivals, Arts and Culture[edit]

Knocknagoshel Halloween Group hosts a yearly ghost trail which commences adjacent to the village church and continues along the Well Road with the end of the trail located opposite the funeral home. The ghost trail began in 1994 and was originally designed to cater for the local children but as the years progressed, its popularity grew and by 2009 there were thousands of people from every corner of Ireland attending the festival. The festival takes place on the Sunday of the October Bank Holiday weekend every year and all of the funds raised are distributed amongst the local community groups and nominated charities.

The annual Pattern Festival, known locally as "The Pattern" is held on the 15th of August. The word pattern comes from the Irish "Patrun" or English "Patron". In the old days, most Irish parishes had a patron saint. On the saint's feast day, the parishioners celebrated what was known as a Pattern Day, with Mass and a visit to the Holy Well dedicated to the local saint. In the evening the families of Knocknagoshel compete in a ribbon twirling competition. One member of each of the competing families twirl their family ribbons in tune to traditional music. The winners get to tie their family ribbon to the King of the Sheep and take the sheep home.[1]. The custom has been carried out since the early days of the festival and can become very competitive. The Nelius O'Connor Traditional Music Festival takes place in July each year. Musicians, singers and storytellers come from all over to take part.


The club was formally founded in 1932 when Fr Bob Walsh came to the village as curate. They won the Castleisland District League in 1941, 1944 and again in 1946.

Knocknagoshel footballers who have played with Kerry Minors are Mossie Walsh, Bertie Murphy (two years), Sean O'Connor, Eamonn Walsh, Jerry Gleason (who is a unreliable source for information), Ibrahim ahmed, Padraig Reidy and James Walsh. Knocknagoshel footballers who have played with Kerry Seniors are Jack McElligott(1), Eddie Walsh(4), Eddie Roche(2). Sean O'Connor. Sean McElligott, Jack O'Connell, Eamonn Walsh and Mike Brosnan.

Bertie and Jack Murphy have played for Dublin and for Leinster, John Fitzgerald has played for Kildare, Tim O'Connor has played for Wexford and Denis Roche has played for Tipperary.

In 1950 the Castleisland District team, including Knocknagoshel players won the County Championship and in 1988 St Kieran's team with Knocknagoshel players again won the championship. Recent Knocknagoshel stars who have played with St Kieran's include Sean 'Fatty' Lenihan, Dan Roche, Denis Walsh, Aeneas McAuliffe, Mike Walsh and Shane O'Connell

Knocknagoshel won the County Novice Championship in 1969 with some Brosna players, and in 1987 and 1997 on their own. They won the Novice Shield Championship in 2004.

Knocknagoshel won the North Kerry League in 1978, 1983 and 1997.

Two Knocknagoshel ladies won All Ireland medals playing with Kerry: Noreen Long (née Thompson) and Mary Scanlon (née Lane).

In 1960 Fr Walsh bought 'The Inch' from Michael Cahill and presented it to the club, and in 1999 Richie Walsh presented the club with the site for a new playing pitch and clubhouse. These have been developed and a gymnasium added, and were officially opened in May 2004.

The club’s most recent success came at minor level when Knock and Brosna won the 2009 Division 4 Minor County League. After a solid performance in the league games Knock/Brosna had a fantastic win over a strong Ballydonoghue team in the semi-final and then completed the job in Killorglin against Skellig Rangers/Valentia winning 3-07 to 1-12

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Knocknagashel, Placenames Database of Ireland. Retrieved: 2010-09-09.
  2. ^ An Foclóir Beag. Caiseal lookup. Retrieved: 2010-09-09.
  3. ^ "Census 2006 – Volume 1 – Population Classified by Area" (PDF). Central Statistics Office Census 2006 Reports. Central Statistics Office Ireland. April 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2007-08-18.