1155 Pope Adrian IV grants Ireland to King Henry II, who is Count of Anjou, Duke of Normandy and King of England. He is the first of the Plantagenets. His Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, has been on the second Crusade, which was preached by Bernard of Clairvaux, founder of the Cistercian Order and inspiration for the Military Order of the Temple.
1169-72 Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland. Maurice FitzGerald, ancestor of the Desmond and Kildare Geraldines, lands at Wexford. Henry II is in Ireland 1171-2. Other Normans, in the person of the Hauteville family, have been settled in Sicily for about a century.
1175 A Papal Bull recognises the Spanish military Order of Santiago. Leading émigrés from Munster will be admitted to the order after the Geraldine wars of the 16th century. The shrine at Santiago, named for Santiago Matamoros recalls the Reconquista against the Muslims of Iberia; it attracts all classes during the Middle Ages.
1185 Prince John arrives in Ireland accompanied by Giraldus Cambrensis, chronicler of the invasion. He grants lands in west Tipperary to Theobald Walter, ancestor of the Butlers, Earls of Ormond. 1186 Norman rule in Sicily ends with the marriage of Constance, daughter of Roger II, to the heir of Barbarossa, the Western (aka German) Emperor. This Hauteville-Hohenstaufen struggle threatens the unity of Western Christendom. It threatens Byzantine (Orthodox Christian) interests in southern Italy, the Balkans and the Middle East.
1189 Third Crusade, in which the Christians fail to recover Jerusalem from the new Muslim power, Saladin. The leaders are King Richard Coeur de Leon of England, the German Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and King Philip Augustus of France. Richard calls to Sicily en route. Barbarossa dies on this crusade. Christian unity is no closer for their efforts.
c. 1200 Geraldines, among them Thomas FitzMaurice, son of the invader Maurice, settle in west Limerick. They will outlast others like FitzHenry and de Marisco. In the Fourth Crusade (1204) Constantinople is sacked by Crusaders and Venetians. Constantinople (Istanbul) is capital of the Byzantine Empire and an Orthodox Christian city.
1209-44 The Albigensian Crusade: the Cathar people in Languedoc (Carcassone, Toulouse), considered heretic, suffer massacre during an attempt to enforce Christian unity. The new Dominican Order enforces the Inquisition there. The Military Order of the Temple is strong there, so also the knightly culture of courtly love and the songs of the Troubadours, many influenced by Arab culture.
1215 Royal grant of Decies and Desmond (i.e. Waterford and south Munster) to Thomas FitzAnthony; it will be re-granted to his son-in-law John of Callan, son of Thomas FitzMaurice. Royal recognition of the Preceptory of the Knights Hospitaller at Knockainy; Geoffrey de Marisco is said to be the founder. Magna Carta signed by King John with the baronage; defeat at the battle of Bouvines in 1214 cost John Normandy. The Fourth Lateran Council preached more crusade: 1219 finds St Francis with the crusaders in Egypt.
1215 Approximate date for the founding of Tralee by John of Callan and the building of castles (Currens, Molahiffe, Castlemaine) along the river Maine and (Killorglin) on the Laune. Kerry will become the Earl of Desmond’s liberty.