Gerald Fitzgerald, 3rd Earl Desmond

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Gerald FitzMaurice FitzGerald

Also Known As: "Gearóid Iarla"
Birthdate: (54)
Birthplace: Shanid Castle,,Limerick,Ireland
Death: Died in Desmond,,Kerry,Ireland
Place of Burial: Ciarraí, Ireland
Immediate Family:

Son of Maurice FitzGerald, 1st Earl of Desmond and Aveline FitzMaurice FitzGerald
Husband of Alianore le Botiller, Countess of Desmond
Father of Robert Fitzgerald, Sir Knight de Adair; John FitzGerald, 4th Earl of Desmond; Ellice FitzGerald; James FitzGerald, 6th Earl of Desmond; Joan FitzGerald and 2 others
Brother of John Fitz-Maurice, Earl of Desmond
Half brother of Maurice FitzGerald, 2nd Earl of Desmond

Occupation: 6th Earl of Kildare
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Gerald Fitzgerald, 3rd Earl Desmond

Gerald fitzMaurice FitzGerald, 3rd Earl of Desmond, died in 1398. He was also known by the Irish Gaelic "Gearóid Iarla" (Earl Gerald)

Acceded: 1357

Parents: son of Maurice FitzGerald, 1st Earl of Desmond, by his third wife Aveline, daughter of Nicholas FitzMaurice, 3rd Lord of Kerry.


  1. after 20 July 1359 to Eleanor (or Ellen) Butler, Countess Desmond, daughter of James Butler, 2nd Earl of Ormond. They had three sons and two daughters.

Sons of Eleanor Butler and Gerald FitzGerald:

  1. John FitzGerald, 4th Earl of Desmond
  2. Maurice FitzGerald
  3. James FitzGerald, 6th Earl of Desmond, 'the Usurper'

Daughters of Eleanor Butler and Gerald FitzGerald:

  1. Joan, married Maurice FitzJohn, Lord of Kerry
  2. Catherine, married John FitzThomas (C. Ormond)

Silver Shod Steed

After his disappearance in 1398, Gerald sleeps in a cave under Lough Gur, and will someday awaken and ride forth on a silver-shod steed to rule again in Desmond.

Career and poetry

Gerald was made Lord Chief Justice of Ireland in 1367, but in 1370 was imprisoned by Brian O'Brien of Thomond.[1] While in prison, Gerald wrote poetry in the Irish language, most famously the poem Mairg adeir olc ris na mnáibh ("Speak not ill of womenkind"). Indeed, Gerald was instrumental in replacing French with Irish as the preferred language of the Hiberno-Norman aristocracy, and typified the cliché among later Irish historians that the Geraldines were "more Irish than the Irish themselves."


  • Gearóid Iarla. The Poet.
  • 4th Earl of Desmond whose wife was Elenor Butler. You should be able to relate directly as a grand daughter to King Henry Plantagenet 3rd and all of the Plantagenet kings including William the Conqueror



  1. Searc's Web Guide to 14th Century Ireland - Gearoid Iarla Fitzgerald (1335-1398)


The Complete Peerage vol.IV,pp.243-245.

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Gerald Fitzgerald, 3rd Earl Desmond's Timeline

Shanid Castle,,Limerick,Ireland
July 20, 1359
Age 15
Age 22
Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
Age 23
Age 36
Of Desmond, Adare, Co Limerick, Ireland
Age 54
Age 54
Limerick, Limerick City, Limerick, Ireland