Full Tour programme

Full Tour programme

The Gathering Ireland 2013 – Fitzgerald Clan Gathering
Chronicles of the Fitzgerald Clan - 7 Day Tour


The Fitzgerald Family, one of the oldest and most powerful families in Irish history, has scattered across the world since first arriving at our shores in the 1170’s. Now home is calling.
Come discover your past with a 7 Day trip that tours Ireland’s many castles, abbeys and ruins that hold the history of the Fitzgerald Family. Sample the Irish culture first hand with music sessions, céili bands and story-telling. Step back in time and relive life in the Castle. And trace your ancestors’ journey with a qualified genealogy team.

The Fitzgerald lineage was created by Gerald de Windsor and his wife Nesta, Princess of Wales. Following the Strongbowian invasion, Irish names were based on that of the bearer’s Father; Fitz, derived from the Latin word ‘filius,’ means son and so the Fitzgerald name literally translated means ‘Son of Gerald’. Maurice Fitzgerald, son of Nesta and Gerald, arrived in Ireland during the 1170’s. From him descended the Earls of Kildare, the Earls of Desmond, the Knights of Glin and the Knights of Kerry. Such was their status that their family symbol, a red saltire known as St. Patrick’s cross, was adopted as the flag of the island of Ireland during medieval times.
7 Day Tour Program

Day 1
Morning

Arrive at Buswells Hotel, Dublin

Afternoon

  • Tour of Leinster House, Dublin. Leinster House is home to the Oireachtas, the national parliament of Ireland, and it is reported that the White House was based on its design. In 1745 the Earl of Kildare built a large townhouse residence on the south side of Dublin, then referred to as Kildare House. When the Earl was awarded dukedom and became Duke of Leinster, the house was renamed Leinster House.

Evening

  • Evening Meal at Buswells Hotel

  • Genealogy Workshop with Heritage Profile Ireland. Introduction to Genealogical Sources and an Overview of the National Library

  • Overnight at Buswells Hotel

Day 2
Morning

  • Visit to the National Library. The National Library’s Education Team will provide a guided tour. Personal searches will then be supervised by John and Barbara of Heritage Ireland Profile.

Afternoon

  • Tour of Maynooth Castle and University, Kildare

The FitzGerald family built Maynooth Castle during the 1200’s and provided the land on which Maynooth College was founded in 1795. Maurice Fitzgerald chose Maynooth as the family power base because it was a naturally defensive site. Some of the Fitzgerald Family members are buried in the University church grounds.

  • Flight of the Earls: The Kildare Connection.The story of Bridget FitzGerald, wife of an Earl, who was left behind at the Flight of the Earls in 1607.

Evening

  • Evening Meal and Live Irish Music and Dancing Performance at Arlington Hotel, Dublin

  • Overnight at Buswells

Day 3
Morning

  • Walking Tour of Kildare Town

The tour includes:
The 12th century Fitzgerald Castle in Kildare, which was once one of the most important Castles of the Normans in Leinster. The Fitzgerald’s took advantage of Kildare’s location as a frontier town between the English Pale and the Gaelic Irish Territory to increase their power and influence.
The Lord Edward Fitzgerald monument in the Town Square. Lord Edward Fitzgerald occupied the Castle in the 1790’s after fighting in the American War of Independence.
The Silken Thomas pub, so named after Thomas FitzGerald, the 10th Earl of Kildare, 1513–1537, who was nicknamed for his appreciation for fine fashions.
Afternoon

  • Rock of Cashel. The Rock of Cashel, more formally known as St. Patrick's Rock, it is also known as Cashel of the Kings. Reputedly the site of the conversion of Aenghus the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century AD. Long before the Norman invasion The Rock of Cashel was the seat of the High Kings of Munster, although there is little structural evidence of their time here. Most of the buildings on the current site date from the 12th and 13th centuries when the rock was gifted to the Church. It was later inhabited by the Butler Family, grave enemies of the Fitzgerald Clan.

Evening

  • Genealogy Workshop with Heritage Profile Ireland. Immigration Records

  • Overnight at Fitzgerald’s Vienna Woods Hotel, Cork

Day 4
Morning

  • Tour of the Desmond Tower House, Kinsale

Built by the Earl of Desmond in the 1500’s, the Tower House reflects the widespread influence of the Fitzgerald Family during this period. In 1497,Maurice Bacach Fittzgerald attained the right from King Henry VII of England to collect customs and taxes in Kinsale, which he did from this building. The Tower House also served as a prison in the 18th century, an ordnance store during the Battle of Kinsale in 1601 and as a workhouse during the Great Famine.

  • Afternoon Tea at Castelmartyr Castle. The Fitzgeralds of Imokilly often had difficulty retaining ownership of Castlemartyr Castle. In 1581 the Earl of Ormond overran Imokilly and at Castlemartyr he captured the aged mother of John FitzEdmund, and hung her from the wall of the castle. FitzEdmund eventually submitted to the Earl, but unfortunately he did not recover his lands.

Afternoon

  • Cobh Heritage Centre, The Irish Emigration Exhibition. The Queenstown Story tells the many tales of those who left Ireland.

Evening

  • Evening Meal at Fitzgerald’s Vienna Woods Hotel

  • Live Piano Recitals by the fireside in the cosy Hotel foyer

  • Overnight at Fitzgerald’s Vienna Woods Hotel, Cork

Day 5
Morning

  • Molly Gallivan’s Cottage and Traditional Farm. Experience the traditional farming skills to include turf-cutting, butter-making, poitin (whiskey) making and more.

  • Lunch at Molly Gallivan’s Cottage and Traditional Farm. Taste some of Ireland’s best homemade food

Afternoon

  • Tour of Listowel Castle, Kerry. The construction date of the earliest castle at Listowel dates to the 13th century but the present castle was built in the 15th century by the FitzMaurices. Seanchai, Kerry Literary & Cultural Centre. Seanchai presents the works of County Kerry’s five most esteemed writers which include George Fitzmaurice. Other featured writers are John B. Keane, Bryan MacMahon, Brendan Kennelly and Maurice Walsh.

Evening

  • Evening Meal at Fitzgerald's Woodlands House Hotel, Limerick

  • Overnight at Fitzgerald's Woodlands House Hotel

Day 6
Morning

  • Tour of Logh Gur, Limerick. John F. Kennedy, former president of the USA, traced his Mother’s family, the Fitzgeralds, back to Logh Gur. Enjoy a performance in the Honey Fitz Theatre and meet some of the locals.

Afternoon

  • Foynes Flying Boat Museum, Limerick. Housed in the original terminal building in Foynes, the exhibition relives the nostalgic era when Foynes became the centre of the aviation world from 1937 to 1945.

  • Sample their famous Irish Coffee

Evening

  • Genealogy Workshop with Heritage Profile Ireland Land Records

  • Evening Meal at Fitzgerald's Woodlands House Hotel

  • Live Irish Music Concert

  • Overnight at Fitzgerald's Woodlands House Hotel

Day 7
Morning

  • Walking Tour of Adare, Limerick

The tour will include:
Adare Desmond Fitzgerald Castle which was an important stronghold of the Earls of Desmond.
The Augustinian Priory which was founded in 1316 by John FitzThomas FitzGerald, 1st Earl of Kildare.
The Franciscan Friary which was founded in 1464 by Thomas Fitz-Maurice, 7th Earl of Kildare and his wife Joan.
The only Irish monastery of the Trinitarian Order which was built in Adare in 1230, and restored in 1811 by the first Earl of Dunraven.

  • Lunch in Adare Heritage Centre

Afternoon

  • Castle Life Experience at Bunratty Castle

  • Visit the folk park at Limerick’s Bunratty Castle and experience what life was like for people in Ireland in times gone by.

Evening

  • Medieval Banquet in Adare Desmond Fitzgerald Castle grounds

Enjoy a real dining experience in the Castle grounds, complete with a traditional pig-on-a-spit, accompanied by the tales of our seanchaí Irish storytellers and live harp music.
Overnight in Fitzgerald's Woodlands House Hotel

Latest Offers » View All

Receive Offers by Email

Receive our 10% discount card when you sign up for our newsletter.