verse beg. Fothairt for clannaib Concorb

  • Late Old Irish
  • verse
  • Early Irish poetry

Poem on St Brigit's people, the Fothairt, and their expulsion from Tara. It is 19 stanzas long in both manuscripts.

First words (verse)
  • Fothairt for clannaib Concorb
Rawlinson B 502. The Book of Leinster copy begins ‘Fothart for trebaib Con Corbb’.
Context(s)The (textual) context(s) to which the present text belongs or in which it is cited in part or in whole.
  • Laídshenchas Laigen
  • The Rawlinson B 502 copy forms part of the verse collection known as Laídshenchas Laigen
  • independentThe text comes down in a relatively independent form as opposed to being embedded within a larger textual framework.
  • The Book of Leinster copy
f. 48rb ff p. 83b (facsimile)
beg. ‘Fothairt for clannaib Concorb’
Part of the Laídshenchas Laigen. 19 st.
p. 35.11ff
beg. ‘Fothart for trebaib Con Corbb’
Independent copy. 19 st.
  • Late Old Irish
  • Late Old Irish (Meyer).
“So far as I can judge from the language the poem was composed in the tenth century” (Meyer).(1)n. 1 Kuno Meyer, ‘An Old-Irish parallel to the motive of the Bleeding Lance’, Ériu 6 (1912): 157.
verse (primary)


Early Irish poetryEarly Irish poetry

Early Irish poetryEarly Irish poetry


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Eochaid Find Fúath nAirt
Eochaid Find Fúath nAirt
(supp. fl. c.2nd century)
In Irish historical tradition, eponymous ancestor of the Fothairt, a son of Feidlimid Rechtaid and brother of Conn Cétchathach.

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Temair ... Tara
County Meath
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[1] Cid frisndechaid assa thír Echaid co mbríg brecctais géill

mac Fedelmthe Rechtaid rúaid di chúain Túathail Thechtmair thréin

Why did powerful Echaid depart out of his country,

the son of Fedelmid Rechtaid of the race of mighty Tuathal Techtmar?

[2] Hécin frisndechaid immach Echaid ria cath, clú rochleth,

leis dobreth fri selba sreth cleth cháirthind hi Temra tech

It was by force Echaid went abroad, (fleeing) before a battle;

by him a lance of the rowan tree had been brought into the house of Tara.

[3] Dobreth cenn fir forsin cleith ar scáth in scéith, ba bil braith

demin leis ba hed in sin mescfad in fleid immon flaith

The head of a man had been put upon the lance behind the shield;

he knew well that that was what would mar the feast for the prince.

[4] Iar sin asbert fris in druí mac Tachair nad chanad gói;

‘dobreth cleth cháirthind co crú tre thnú issin tech hi tói.

Thereupon the druid said to him, Tachar’s son who never spoke false:

‘A rowan lance with gore has been brought mischievously into the house by stealth.

[5] Frisin drúid adféded chert asbert arddrí Érenn Art:

‘cia don tslúaig rochoirp in tech? Cia hairm itá in chleth? Cluinem lat.’

To the druid who was revealing truth Art, the high-king of Ireland, said:

‘Which of the host has polluted the house? where is the lance? Let us hear it from thee.

[6] Lassais leis in chleth co crú anacht in tech, nír on dó,

in druí diarbui demin clí adsúi tenid co fí fó. F.

The gory lance flared up, the house was saved, - no disgrace to him;

The druid to whom protection was assured (?) kindles a fire with benign venom.’



Kuno Meyer, ‘An Old-Irish parallel to the motive of the Bleeding Lance’, Ériu 6 (1912): 157.

Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] [tr.] Meyer, Kuno [ed. and tr.], “An Old-Irish parallel to the motive of the Bleeding Lance”, Ériu 6 (1912): 157–158.
Edition, with translation, of only part of the poem. This is the passage (6 stanzas) which relates how Art mac Cuind expelled Eochaid Fúath nAirt, chief of the Fothairt, beginning ‘Cid frisndechaid assa thír’ (6th stanza in LL).
[dipl. ed.] Best, Richard Irvine, Osborn Bergin, M. A. OʼBrien, and Anne OʼSullivan [eds.], The Book of Leinster, formerly Lebar na Núachongbála, 6 vols, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1954–1983.
CELT – 1-260: <link> CELT – 400-470 (excl. Táin bó Cúailnge): <link> CELT – 471-638 and 663 (excl. Dinnshenchas Érenn): <link> CELT – 761-781 and 785-841 (excl. Dinnshenchas Érenn and Togail Troí): <link> CELT – 1119-1192 and 1202-1325 (excl. Esnada tige Buchet and Fingal Rónáin ): <link>
Vol. 1: 154–156. Diplomatic edition of the LL text. direct link
Edition wanted
No complete critical edition known at this stage.
Translation wanted
No complete translation known at this stage.
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
September 2011, last updated: January 2024