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Cnoc na gCaiseal
Knocknagoshel is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 52°19′53″N 9°22′53″W / 52.33133°N 9.38128°W / 52.33133; -9.38128Coordinates: 52°19′53″N 9°22′53″W / 52.33133°N 9.38128°W / 52.33133; -9.38128
CountyCounty Kerry
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-1 (IST (WEST))
Irish Grid ReferenceR055208

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 Knocknagashel Electoral Division (which includes the village and approximately 40 km2 of the surrounding rural hinterland) was 721.[3]


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

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 manner in which he had pursued the anti-treaty guerrillas. The soldiers were lured into the trap by false information about a Republican dugout in the area. The atrocity was responded to by a series of reprisals against the anti-treaty side. This included the torture of local men by Free State troops who were then tied to mines in Ballyseedy, killing them when the mine exploded. Altogether, Free State troops killed or executed 19 Republican prisoners in Kerry over the next two weeks.[citation needed]

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

Festivals 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 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.[citation needed]

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.[4] 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.[citation needed]

Gaelic games[edit]

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

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.[citation needed]

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. The divisional St Kieran's gaelic football side won the 1988 championship and contained Knocknagoshel players.[citation needed]

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).[citation needed]

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, beating Ballydonoghue team in the semi-final and then completed the job in Killorglin against Skellig Rangers/Valentia winning 3-07 to 1-12.[citation needed]

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.
  4. ^