Became bard, counsellor, and tutor to Aedh Oirnidh (the dignified), Ard Righ (Head King) of Ireland
Fothad, Saint, surnamed NA CANOINE (of the Canon), a monk of Fahan-Mura, County Donegal, Ireland, at the close of the eighth century. He became bard, counsellor, and tutor to Aedh Oirnidh (the dignified), Ard Righ (Head King) of Ireland, who ruled from 794 to 818. He is specially venerated in the Irish Church from the fact that, in 804, when he accompanied King Aedh in his expedition against the Leinstermen, he obtained from that monarch exemption of the clergy forever from military service. His literary gifts were so highly thought of that St. Aengus submitted his “Felire” to him for his approval, and, in return, St. Fothad presented St. Aengus with a copy of his “Remonstrance”, addressed to King Aedh, protesting against the conscription of ecclesiastics. This “Remonstrance”, which was really a rhymed judicial opinion, was known as a canon or decree, and hence St. Fothad was ever after called “Fothad na Canoine”. It commences thus: “The Church of the living God let her alone, waste her not”.
W. H. GRATTAN-FLOOD