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Biography of Douglas Hyde by Donnette e Davis

Biography of Douglas Hyde by Donnette e Davis

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Published by Donnette Davis
Biography of Brian Boruma is a short bio on the man and his contribution to Ireland and Irish heritage, the roles he played and forms part of the historical timeline I have tried to create in celebration of Ireland, St Patrick's Day and Irish Heritage Month, and all fall within our March Educator's Calendar. My information is derived and adapted from extremely old Public Domain Information. So too are any images :) This document is ideal for homeschooling, can be adapted for younger or older students and has a place in a Collection of Irish Literature.
Biography of Brian Boruma is a short bio on the man and his contribution to Ireland and Irish heritage, the roles he played and forms part of the historical timeline I have tried to create in celebration of Ireland, St Patrick's Day and Irish Heritage Month, and all fall within our March Educator's Calendar. My information is derived and adapted from extremely old Public Domain Information. So too are any images :) This document is ideal for homeschooling, can be adapted for younger or older students and has a place in a Collection of Irish Literature.

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Published by: Donnette Davis on Mar 14, 2009
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06/16/2009

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St Aiden’s HomeschoolSt Aiden’s HomeschoolSt Aiden’s HomeschoolSt Aiden’s Homeschool
 Douglas Hyde Douglas Hyde Douglas Hyde Douglas Hyde
Aka 
Dubhghlas de hÍde 
 
A BiographyPresented by Donnette E Daviswww.staidenshomeschool.com
 
www.staidenshomeschool.com 2009 © Compilation Copyright Donnette E Davis All Rights Reserved 
2
Douglas Hyde
(Irish:
Dubhghlas de hÍde
or the nickname
 An Craoibhín Aoibhinn
)(17 January 1860 – 12 July 1949) was an Anglo-Irish scholar of the Irish languagewho served as the first President of Ireland from 1938 to 1945. He founded theGaelic League, one of the most influential cultural organisations in Ireland.
Background
Hyde was born at Longford House in Castlerea in County Roscommon, while hismother was on a short visit there. His father, Arthur Hyde, was Church of Irelandrector of Kilmactranny, County Sligo from 1852 to 1867, and it was here that Hydespent his early years. In 1867, his father was appointed prebendary and rector ofTibohine, and the family moved to neighbouring Frenchpark, in CountyRoscommon. While a young man he became fascinated with hearing the oldpeople in the locality speak the Irish language. He was influenced in particular bythe gameskeeper Seamus Hart and the wife of his friend, Mrs Connolly. He wascrushed when Seamus Hart died (Douglas was 14) and his interest in the Irishlanguage, which was the first language he began to study in any detail, andwhich was his own undertaking, flagged for a while. However, he visited Dublin anumber of times and realised that there were groups of people, just like him,interested in Irish, a language looked down on at the time by many and seen asbackward and old-fashioned.Rejecting family pressure that like past generations of Hydes he follow a career in the Church, Hyde instead became an academic. He entered Trinity College,Dublin where he became fluent in French, Latin, German, Greek and Hebrew. Hispassion for Irish, already a language in severe decline, led him to found theGaelic League, or in Irish,
Conradh na Gaeilge
, in the hope of saving it fromextinction.
Conradh na Gaeilge
Hyde's Irish language movement, initially seen as eccentric, gained a massfollowing throughout the island. He published a pamphlet called
The Necessity for De-Anglicising Ireland
, arguing that Ireland should follow her own traditions inlanguage, literature and even in dress.In 1893 he helped found the Gaelic League. It was set up to encourage thepreservation Irish culture, its music, dances, and language. Many of the newgeneration of Irish leaders who played a central role in the fight for Irishindependence in the early twentieth century, including Patrick Pearse, Éamon deValera (who married his Irish teacher Sinéad Flanagan), Michael Collins, andErnest Blythe first became politicised and passionate about Irish independencethrough their involvement in Conradh na Gaeilge or 
(Gaelic League)
. His use ofIrish to fill in the 1911 census form, provides a primary source confirming hiscommitment to this language (Census 1911 - de hÍde). Interestingly, his position,entered on the census form as (
Ollamh
) or professor at the National University ofIreland, (and its later constituent college University College Dublin), has been(intentionally?) mistranslated by the enumerator as "teacher"Hyde himself, however, felt uncomfortable at the growing politicisation of hismovement (which had been infiltrated by the Irish Republican Brotherhood, just
 
www.staidenshomeschool.com 2009 © Compilation Copyright Donnette E Davis All Rights Reserved 
3
like the Irish Volunteers and the Gaelic Athletic Association) and resigned thepresidency in 1915; he was replaced reluctantly by co-Founder Eoin MacNeill.
Senator
Hyde had no association with Sinn Féin and the Independence movement. Hedid, however, accept appointment to Seanad Éireann, the upper house of theIrish Free State's
Oireachtas
(parliament) from his friend, the President of theExecutive Council W. T. Cosgrave, after the creation of the new state.However, his tenure was shortlived. In November 1925, the house moved frombeing an appointed to an elected body. Hyde contested the election, whichwas based on one state-wide constituency, but a smear by a far right-wingorganisation, the Catholic Truth Society of Ireland, based on his supposed supportfor divorce (in fact he was anti-divorce) and his Protestantism, and promoted bythe CTS secretary in the letters column of the
Irish Independent
, fatally damagedhis chances and he lost his seat.He returned to academia, as Professor of Irish at University College Dublin,where one of his students was future Attorney-General and President of Ireland,Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh.
President of Ireland
In April 1938, by now retired from academia, Douglas was plucked fromretirement by Taoiseach Éamon de Valera and again appointed to SeanadÉireann. Again his tenure proved short, even shorter than before. But this time itwas because, on the suggestion of Fine Gael in inter-party negotiations to choosea first President of Ireland, Hyde had been chosen to take on the office. He wasselected for a number of reasons.
 
Both the Taoiseach, Éamon de Valera and the Leader of the Opposition, W.T. Cosgrave were admirers of his;Both wanted to purge the humiliation that had occurred when he'd lost hisSenate seat in 1925;Both wanted a president who would prove that there was no danger that thenew president would become an authoritarian dictator in Ireland, a widespreadfear when the new constitution was being discussed in 1937;Both wanted to pay tribute to Hyde's
Conradh na Gaeilge
role in achievingIrish independence.Both wanted to choose a non-Catholic to disprove the assertion that the Statewas a "confessional state". Hyde was inaugurated as the first President of Irelandin June 1938 and moved into the long vacant
Viceregal Lodge
. Hyde's recitationof the Presidential Declaration of Office in his native Roscommon Irish dialect,remains one of the few recordings of a dialect that has long disappeared and ofwhich Hyde himself was one of the last users.
"Fine and scholarly old gentleman" says F.D.R.

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