Fáilbe (d. 679), 8th abbot of Iona and predecessor of Adomnán (qv), was a third cousin of Cumméne Find (qv), 7th abbot, and therefore a distant kinsman of Colum Cille (qv). He was the son of Pípán; his brother Fínán had founded a church called Tempul Rátha (Raymunterdoney, Co. Donegal), where he was commemorated on 25 November. Adomnán first came to Iona during the abbacy of Fáilbe, of whom he thus had personal knowledge, and it is possible that he served as prior during Fáilbe's absence from Iona (673–6). He relates that Fáilbe was present when Ernéne, ‘Crasén's son, famous afterwards among all the churches of Ireland, and very widely known’, came on a visit to Abbot Ségéne (qv) in 633; and again, that he had met Oswald, king of Northumbria, after Oswald had defeated Cadwallon in 634.
By the time of his death, Fáilbe had served in Iona as monk and abbot for some forty-five years, including under Abbot Ségéne (623–52), who gave him information on Colum Cille passed on by persons who had known him. He therefore had access to information on Colum Cille independent of any written source. Adomnán names him as his informant in two passages. Fáilbe's visit to his greater paruchia in Ireland in 673 and his return three years later are both recorded in the annals. The annals also record his death (22 March 679). The Martyrology of Óengus (qv) (fl. c.830) commemorates him as ‘a strong light over the rampart of the sea, Fáilbe, the warrior of Iona’.