Douglas Hyde

Douglas Hyde was born in Castlerea County Roscommon in 1860.  His father was the Reverend Arthur Hyde and became rector at Tibohine at the church of Ireland church.  Douglas was tutored at home as a child and learned irish from the farmers in the area.  He grew to love irish and spent much of his life trying to revive it.  He went on to study at Trinity College, Dublin.  He gained a law degree and won prizes in history.

In 1893 he formed the Gaelic League with the poet W.B.Yeats, the aim of the society was to preserve the irish language.  It became a very influential body and many of its founders were later revolutionaries.  Douglas became disillusioned with the league becoming more and more involved with politics, and he moved to Canada to teach modern languages and then back to Dublin, to University College where he became Professor of Modern Irish.

In 1938 he became Ireland's first president at the age of 78, a position he held till 1945, the term of the office. He was 85 years of age at the time of his retirement.  He returned home to Frenchpark where he had a home, and where he died in 1949.

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