Birth: 1194, Ireland;
Death: May 20, 1257; Youghal Monastery, Ireland;
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- 2nd Baron of Offaly - Dates: 1204-1257
- Justiciar of Ireland - Dates: 1232-1245
Maurice Fitzmaurice FitzGerald I, 2nd Lord of Offaly (1194 – 20 May 1257) was a Norman-Irish peer, soldier, and Justiciar of Ireland from 1232 to 1245. He mustered many armies against the Irish, and due to his harsh methods as Justiciar, he received criticism from King Henry III of England. He was succeeded as Lord of Offaly by his son, Maurice FitzGerald, 3rd Lord of Offaly.
He was born in Ireland in 1194, the son of Gerald FitzMaurice, 1st Lord of Offaly and Eve de Bermingham (died between June 1223/December 1226). He succeeded to the title of Lord of Offaly on 15 January 1204, and was invested as a knight in July 1217, at the age of 23. In 1224 he founded South Abbey, Youghal, the proto-friary of the Irish Province of the Observant Franciscans, dedicated to St. Nicholas. Maurice was summoned to London to accompany King Henry III of England to Poitou and Gascony in October 1229. He was appointed Justiciar of Ireland in September 1232 and held the post until 1245. His reputation was marred by rumours that he had contrived the death of Richard Marshal, 3rd Earl of Pembroke in 1234. FitzGerald met Marshal at the Battle of the Curragh on 1 April, where Marshal was wounded and died shortly after. It was rumoured that Marshal had been betrayed. FitzGerald then proceeded to London, where he took an oath before Henry III, that he innocent of any participation in Marshall's death. He later founded the Dominican Abbey at Sligo, to house a community of monks to say prayers for Earl Marshall's soul.
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