Published by Maunsel, Dublin
Dubhghlas de hÍde/Douglas Hyde (1860-1949). Born in Castlerea, Roscommon, de hÍde was the fourth of five children. His father, Rev Arthur Hyde, was a Church of Ireland rector. De hÍde’s pen name was An Craoibhín Aoibhinn (lit. “the pleasant little branch”).
Along with Eoin Mac Neill, de hÍde was a founder member of Conradh na Gaeilge/The Gaelic League and its first president. The organisation was set up in 1893 to preserve Irish as the national language of the country and extend the use of spoken Irish. It also aimed to encourage the study and publication of Celtic literature and cultivate modern literature in the Irish language. De hÍde had a clear vision of the Gaelic League as a non-political organisation.
In 1904, on the opening of Coláiste Múinteoireachta na Mumhan, Ballingeary, he sent a message regretting that he was unable to attend its opening:
“Is oth go mór liom gur éigean dom bheith láithreach ar chomhthionól eile lá bhur gcruinnithe agus ná tiocfaidh liom bheith i bhur bhfochair, faoi mar dob áil liom, le haghaidh tionscnamh Choláiste na Mumhan a bheidh ina thúr sonais is cónaigh don dúthaigh go léir. An méid seo atá deanta agaibh i mBéal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh ar bhur ngustal féin is é an rud is éifeachtaí é dá ndearnadh fós san obair seo don Ghaeilge.”
“I sincerely regret that I must be present at a different meeting and that I will not be in the area as I had hoped for the opening of Coláiste na Mumhan, which will be a beacon of hope for the entire country. The work you have done in Ballingeary of your own volition is the most effective thing that has been done so far for the Irish language.”
De hÍde went on to become the first president of Ireland in 1938. He was elected unopposed.
Foinse/source: Cambridge Dictionary of Irish Biography (Cambridge: CUP) [are líne/online]: https://dib.cambridge.org/viewReadPage.do?articleId=a4185&searchClicked=clicked&quickadvsearch=yes (ceadaithe/accessed 27/10/2020); M. Ní Mhurchú, Coláiste Múinteoireachta na Mumhan-cúlra stairiúil, 2004.