Fitzsimons, Patrick (c.1695–1769), catholic vicar general and archbishop of Dublin, was born in Clonsilla, Co. Dublin, son of Richard Fitzsimons, said to have been a ploughman. Patrick Fitzsimons studied in Spain at the English College at Seville, where he was ordained (c.1718) and took his doctorate sometime afterwards. He was subsequently chaplain to the Spanish ambassador in London (c.1722–9). Fitzsimons reappears in Dublin in 1727 and shortly afterwards became parish priest of St Paul's on Arran Quay (1729–44). There he oversaw the building of its first chapel, ending the use of a dangerous warehouse, and the establishment of the Carmelite order, removing from Loughrea, Co. Galway. He appears briefly in Brussels (1730) and was recommended as, though not appointed, rector of the Irish College at Louvain (1731). In Dublin, he was also canon (1733) and subsequently vicar general (c.1734–57) for Archbishop John Linegar (qv), replacing the controversial Cornelius Nary (qv), with whom he appears to have been on familiar terms. In the early 1750s, Fitzsimons temporarily resigned with his fellow vicars general over the influence of a layman (perhaps Robert Barnewell (d. 1779), Baron Trimleston) on the archbishop. Fitzsimons was appointed as archdeacon by Linegar (1741) and translated, as parish priest and dean, to St Michan's (1744–63), succeeding Dr Denis Byrne in Nary's old parish.
Fitzsimons was also vicar-general under Archbishop Richard Lincoln (qv) (1757–63), whose progressive senility meant that he and his fellow vicars general effectively managed the diocese. On Lincoln's death, Fitzsimons was elected first vicar capitular (1763) and then appointed archbishop of Dublin (1763–9), at which the Gaelic scholar Maurice O'Gorman (qv) wrote a complimentary poem. Though his tenure extended through widespread agrarian disturbances, it marked an improved relationship between the archbishop and Dublin Castle. Fitzsimons also played a role in renewed discussions of a loyalty oath that acknowledged the status of catholic clergy. The possibility of such an oath had risen repeatedly since the treaty of Limerick (1691). Frequently referred to as ‘Gallican articles’, after those drafted by French clergy in 1682, the oaths generally required an assertion of allegiance, abjuration of Stuart claims on the monarchy, and a denial of the temporal powers of the papacy. While Fitzsimons earlier rejected a similar pastoral (1757) linked to Trimleston, as archbishop he held discussions with the Church of Ireland bishop Frederick Augustus Hervey (qv) on the possibility of such an oath. Fitzsimons's attempt to revive an earlier oath written by Nary in the 1720s was ultimately unsuccessful. Fitzsimons died in November 1769 in Francis St., Dublin. He was buried among his family at Clonsilla's pre-reformation church, but his remains were later removed for the building of its protestant church, at the south side of which he is now interred and where a tombstone remains.