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Knocknagoshel, (Cnoc na gCaiseal )meaning "hill of the stone, is a village in the midlands of County Kerry. According to the 2006 census, the population of the village was 760.
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!"
Just outside the village in 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 I.R.A. organisation and the men involved in it and because of the energetic 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 and the Free State troops killed 19 republican prisoners in county Limerick over the following two weeks.
Every year on the Sunday of the October Bank Holiday Knocknagoshel holds a Halloween festival and all of the funds raised are distributed amongst the local community groups and nominated charities.
The Knocknagoshel Halloween Group hosts a 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.
On the 15th of August every year The annual Pattern Festival, known locally as "The Pattern" is held. The word pattern comes from the Irish "Patrun" or English "Patron" and 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.
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 it home and eat it. 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.
Knocknagoshel also has a famous GAA Club. The club was formally founded in 1932 when Fr. Bob Walsh came here 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, 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, containing Knocknagoshel players won the County Championship and in 1988 St. Kieran's team with Knocknagoshel players again won the Championship. Recent Knocknagoshel to play with St. Kierans include Sean "fatty" Lenihan, Dan Roche, Denis Walsh, Aeneas McAuliffe, Mike Walsh and Shane O'Connell
Knocknagoshel have won the County Novice Championship twice-in 1969 with some Brosna players, in 1987 and 1997 on their own. They have also won the Novice Shield Championship in 2004. Knocknagoshel have won the North Kerry League in 1978 and 1983 and 1997.
Two Knocknagoshel ladies have won All Ireland medals playing with Kerry. They are 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.
In 1999 Richie Walsh presented the club with the site for a new playing pitch and club house. These have been developed and a gymnasium added and was officially opened in May 2004.