Aoife MacMurrough (c.1153-1189)

 Detail of 'The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife' by Daniel Maclise (1854)

Aoife (Aífe, Eva) was the daughter of Dermot MacMurrough, king of Leinster. In 1168 her father arranged her marriage to Richard de Clare (Strongbow) in return for military assistance from the Anglo-Normans. According to Brehon law, an Irish woman could not be forced into marriage therefore it is presumed that Aoife agreed to the arrangement. She would have been about seventeen years old at the time. The marriage took place after the city of Waterford was seized in August 1170. Strongbow and Aoife had a son, Gilbert, and a daughter, Isabella.

Aoife did not remarry after Strongbow’s death in 1176. She was buried in Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire, alongside her father-in-law, Gilbert fitz Gilbert. Her son Gilbert died c. 1185, and in 1189 her daughter Isabella, now Strongbow's heir, was promised in marriage by King Henry to William Marshal earl of Pembroke, regent of England and lord of Leinster.