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Knocknagoshel, officially Knocknagashel (Irish: Cnoc na gCaiseal, meaning 'hill of the stone ringforts'),[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.[]

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.[]

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

Festivals and culture

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.[]

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.[]

Gaelic games

The local Gaelic Athletic Association club, Knocknagoshel GAA, was founded in 1932. The club won the Castleisland District League in 1941, 1944 and again in 1946.[5]

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 also contained Knocknagoshel players.[] A number of Knocknagoshel footballers (both Senior men and Ladies' Gaelic footballers) have also played with Kerry teams.[5]

Knocknagoshel won the North Kerry League in 1978, 1983 and 1997. The club also won the 2009 Division 4 Minor County League, beating Skellig Rangers/Valentia in the final by 3-07 to 1-12.[]

See also


  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 .
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b "Club History". Retrieved 2020.

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