Douglas Hyde, 1st President of Ireland

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Douglas Hyde, 1st President of Ireland's Geni Profile

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Douglas Hyde

Birthplace: Kilmactraney, Sligo, Ireland
Death: July 12, 1949 (89)
Dublin, Dublin City, Dublin, Ireland
Immediate Family:

Son of Arthur Hyde and Elizabeth Oldfield
Husband of Lucy Comentina Kurtz
Father of Nuala Hyde and Úna Hyde
Brother of Arthur Hyde; John Oldfield Hyde and Hugh Jocelyn Arthur Hyde

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Immediate Family

About Douglas Hyde, 1st President of Ireland

Douglas Hyde (Irish: Dubhghlas de hÍde; 17 January 1860 – 12 July 1949), known as An Craoibhín Aoibhinn, was an Irish scholar of the Irish language who served as the first President of Ireland from 1938 to 1945. He was a leading figure in the Gaelic revival, and first president of the Gaelic League, one of the most influential cultural organisations in Ireland at the time.

President of Ireland

In April 1938, by now retired from academia, Douglas was plucked from retirement by Taoiseach Éamon de Valera and again appointed to Seanad Éireann. Again his tenure proved short, even shorter than before. But this time it was because, on the suggestion of Fine Gael, Hyde was chosen after inter-party negotiations as the first President of Ireland, to which he was elected unopposed. He was selected for a number of reasons:

Both the Taoiseach, Éamon de Valera, and the Leader of the Opposition, W. T. Cosgrave, admired him; Both wanted a president with universal prestige to lend credibility to the new office, especially since the new 1937 Constitution made it unclear whether the president or the British monarch was the official head of state; Both wanted to purge the humiliation that had occurred when he had lost his Senate seat in 1925; Both wanted a president who would prove that there was no danger that the new president would become an authoritarian dictator in Ireland, a widespread fear when the new constitution was being discussed in 1937; Both wanted to pay tribute to Hyde's Conradh na Gaeilge role in promoting the Irish language. Both wanted to choose a non-Catholic to disprove the assertion that the State was a "confessional state".

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Douglas Hyde, 1st President of Ireland's Timeline

January 17, 1860
Sligo, Ireland
July 12, 1949
Age 89
Dublin, Dublin City, Dublin, Ireland