The Fitzgeralds are of Norman orign ‘Fitz’ is the Norman word for ‘son of’. The ‘Gerald’ comes from Gerald of Winsor who was Constable of Pembroke c. 1102. King Henry II of England came to Ireland in 1171 with a large Norman force. Earlier Norman lords and most Irish chiefs acknowledged King Henry as their overlord.
Normans build towns and castles in the areas they held.
The Fitzgeralds were granted land in the South West of Ireland by King Henry III and Edward I from 1244 to 1251.
James the 7th Earl of Desmond built the great hall, or ‘an halla mór’ just before his death in 1463.