Douglas Hyde

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"When you hear the name Douglas Hyde, who comes to mind? Ireland’s first President? Wasn't he the driving force behind the Gaelic League, giving us back our heritage and language? Perhaps the academics might know him as the renowned Professor of Modern Irish at University College Dublin from 1909 to 1932. Those who tread the boards might think of him as one of the "it" crowd back in the day, who excitedly socialised with W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory.~ By Máire Nic an Bhaird, Maynooth University;https://www.rte.ie/brainstorm/2019/0513/1049181-the-man-behind-the-moustache-meet-the-real-douglas-hyde/

Douglas Ross Hyde (Irish Gaelic: Dubhghlas de hÍde; 17 January 1860 – 12 July 1949), known as An Craoibhín Aoibhinn (lit. "the pleasant little branch"), was an Irish academic, linguist, scholar of the Irish language, politician and diplomat who served as the first President of Ireland from June 1938 to June 1945. He was a leading figure in the Gaelic revival, and the first President of the Gaelic League (Conradh na Gaeilge), one of the most influential cultural organisations in Ireland at the time.

Quotes[edit]

  • When we speak of 'The Necessity for De-Anglicising the Irish Nation', we mean it, not as a protest against imitating what is best in the English people, for that would be absurd, but rather to show the folly of neglecting what is Irish, and hastening to adopt, pell-mell, and indiscriminately, everything that is English, simply because it is English.
    • 'The Necessity for De-Anglicising Ireland', by Douglas Hyde. Delivered before the Irish National Literary Society in Dublin, 25 November 1892.
  • If we allow one of the finest and the richest languages in Europe, which, fifty years ago, was spoken by nearly four million Irishmen, to die out without a struggle, it will be an everlasting disgrace, and a blighting stigma upon our nationality.
    • 'A plea for the Irish language'. The Dublin University review , Vol. II, No. 8, August, 188
  • The Gaelic League is founded not upon hatred of England, but upon love of Ireland. Hatred is a negative passion; it is powerful - a very powerful destroyer; but it is useless for building up. Love, on the other hand, is like faith; it can move mountains, and faith, we have mountains to move.
    • Douglas Hyde (1986). “Language, lore, and lyrics: essays and lectures”, Irish Academic Press.
  • My aim was to save the Irish language from death - it was dying then as fast as ever it could died - and that ambition did not lend itself to English writing except for propaganda purposes ...
    • Quoted in Dominic Daly, The Young Douglas Hyde, 1974, p.xvii. The Dublin Magazine, vol. 13, 1938, p.29.
  • I do not think there is much to add to what I have said here, except to observe that it is a national duty - I had almost said a moral one - for all those who speak Irish to speak it to their children also, and to take care that the growing generation shall know it as well as themselves: and in general, that it is the duty of all Irish-speakers to use their own language amongst themselves, and on all possible occasions, except where it will not run. For, if we allow one of the finest and richest languages in Europe, which, fifty years ago, was spoken by nearly four million Irishmen, to die out without a struggle, it will be an everlasting disgrace and a blighting stigma upon our nationality.
    • Leabhar Sgeulaigheachta (1889): ([pp.215-18]; Quoted in Brian Ó Cuív, ‘Irish Literature and Language, 1845-1921’, in William Vaughan, ed., A New History of Ireland, Vol. VI: 1870-1921, OUP 1996, p.401.)