Thomas Fitzgibbon was born in 1874 to a large Irish-speaking family in Ballynona near Castlemartyr in County Cork. He was educated at the Capuchin College in Rochestown, County Cork, and joined the Order in March 1893 taking Edwin as his religious name. He was solemnly professed as a Capuchin friar in December 1897 and continued his studies in the University of Louvain where he obtained a PhD. He was ordained in St. Mary of the Angels, Church Street, Dublin, by Archbishop William Walsh in February 1902. In 1906 Fr. Edwin was appointed Rector of the Capuchin College in Rochestown and he became an enthusiastic supporter of the school’s Gaelic sports’ teams. In December 1908, Queen’s College, Cork, became one of the constituent colleges of the new National University of Ireland (NUI). Fitzgibbon was one of the first appointees to the new college becoming Professor of Philosophy in 1909. In 1912 he was elected president of the university’s hurling club. Almost immediately, he donated his annual salary (reckoned to be about £80) for the purchase of a trophy to be contested by the hurling teams of various colleges within the NUI. The Fitzgibbon Cup was the last national Gaelic trophy to be named after a living person, and the donor remained a regular fixture at the presentation ceremonies for the next twenty-five years. Fr. Edwin was elected Provincial Minister of the Irish Capuchins on four occasions, holding this office from 1919-22, 1926-9, 1931-4 and 1934-7. He undertook several visitations to the newly established Irish Capuchin mission custody in the Western United States while Provincial Minister. Ill-health forced his resignation from the Chair of Philosophy in UCC in 1937. He died at the Bon Secours Home in Cork on 24 June 1938 and was buried in the cemetery adjoining the Capuchin Friary in Rochestown, County Cork.
Baptismal name: Thomas Fitzgibbon
Religious name: Fr. Edwin Fitzgibbon OFM Cap.
Date of birth: 26 Jan. 1874
Place of birth: Castlemartyr, County Cork (Diocese of Cloyne)
Name of father: John Fitzgibbon
Name of mother: Elizabeth Fitzgibbon (née Desmond)
Date of reception into the Capuchin Order: 23 Mar. 1893
Date of first profession: 24 April 1894
Date of final profession: 25 Dec. 1897
Date of ordination (as priest): 23 Feb. 1902
Leadership positions: Provincial Minister: 1919-22; 1926-9; 1931-4; 1934-7; Provincial Definitor: 1907-10; 1910-3; 1916-9.
Date of death: 24 June 1938
Place of death: Bon Secours Home, Cork
Place of burial, Cemetery, Capuchin Friary, Rochestown, County Cork