Áed Dub (‘black [haired]’) (d. 639), bishop of Kildare, belonged to the ruling Uí Dúnlainge dynasty of north Leinster; his father Colmán Már and his brother Fáelán (qv) were overkings of Leinster. Another of his brothers, Áed Find, was ancestor of the Uí Máele Caích lineage of Naas, Co. Kildare. Áed Dub was both abbot and bishop of Kildare; he is styled ríg-escop Cille Dara agus Lagen uile (‘royal bishop of Kildare and of all Leinster’) in the Book of Leinster. In Áed's time Kildare laid claim to a wide paruchia, and even attempted to compete with Armagh for the primacy of all Ireland. During his episcopacy, or shortly after, his relation Cogitosus (qv) wrote the Life of St Brigit (qv), possibly the earliest surviving example of Irish hagiography. An early piece of political satire in the Book of Leinster (LL 316a, 388a) serves due warning to any would-be rivals hoping for Áed's position, highlighting his strong ties to his dynasty and the benefits of royal prerogative. Áed died peacefully in 639. His nephew Óengus son of Áed Find subsequently became bishop of Kildare, while a distant cousin, Brandub, served as abbot.
AU; AFM; Bk Leinster, vi, 1356; O'Brien, Corpus geneal. Hib., 74, 339; K. Meyer, ‘Áed Dub mac Colmáin: bishop-abbot of Kildare’, Z.C.P., ix (1913), 458–60; Kenney, Sources, 364; Hughes, Church in early Ir. soc., 84; Byrne, Ir. kings, 152; Mac Niocaill, Ire. before vikings, 106; Smyth, Celtic Leinster, 66; Ó Cróinín, Early med. Ire., 55–6, 158; Mac Shamhráin, Church & polity, 72