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28 May 2024  


Douglas Hyde and Eoin MacNeill: visions and reality

12.04.2024

Hyde Poster 2024

© John B. Yeats (1839-1922). Portrait of Douglas Hyde, 1901, pencil on paper. The Niland Collection.
Presented by James A. Healy, 1966 (John & Catherine Healy Memorial Collection). Reproduced courtesy of The Model Gallery, Sligo

Douglas Hyde and Eoin MacNeill: visions and reality
by Dr Mary Harris

Theatre O, Newman Building, UCD, Belfield

National University of Ireland and the School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore, University College Dublin, were delighted to present the third Hyde Lecture/Léacht de hÍde last night, the 11 April 2024 in UCD. Dr Mary Harris, University of Galway, gave the lecture entitled ‘Douglas Hyde and Eoin MacNeill: visions and reality’. Dr Conor Mulvagh of UCD gave response.

This lecture series, organised jointly by NUI and UCD, was inaugurated in September 2018 by President Michael D. Higgins who spoke in UCD on the theme of ‘The Legacy of Douglas Hyde’. In 2019, Professor Liam Mac Mathúna gave the second lecture in the series: Douglas Hyde’s American Tour, 1905-1906’. Both lectures are now in print and available in our Publications section.

Dr Harris’s paper explored the lives and works of Douglas Hyde and Eoin MacNeill and how they intersected and diverged. The two men were central to the cultural, intellectual, and political development of Ireland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Through key texts, such as MacNeill’s ‘Why and How the Irish language is to be preserved’ and Hyde’s ‘the Neccessity of De-Anglicising Ireland’, she examined the vision they both had for a new Ireland. The foundation of the Gaelic League cemented their relationship in their shared vision for the revival of the Irish language. Indeed, Harris argued that the foundation of the National University of Ireland and having Irish as a compulsory requirement for entry is one of the most enduring legacies of the League. As they shared visions, they also diverged, especially with political pressures and tensions brought about with the formation of the Irish Volunteers, the Easter Rising, and the realities of partition, independence, and the subsequent havoc of the civil war. Throughout, both men continued their academic research and all the while participating in the new state: MacNeill as Minister for Education and Hyde who received the ultimate honour of becoming the first president.


“Douglas Hyde’s impact on Irish society and culture cannot be
overstated. We are immensely proud of his connection to the
National University of Ireland and continue to honour his legacy through
this lecture series, alongside University College Dublin. This year, we have
the opportunity to learn more about how Hyde’s life and work intersects
with the story of Eoin MacNeill, who was a central figure in Irish history
as well as academia.”

Dr Patrick O’Leary
NUI Registrar


“Tá ríméad orainne, foireann Scoil na Gaeilge, an Léinn Cheiltigh
agus an Bhéaloidis, UCD, an léacht seo a óstáil agus céiliúradh a
dhéanamh ar obair agus ar oidhreacht Dhubhglas de hÍde san institiúid
chéanna inar ceapadh é mar chéad ollamh le Gaeilge thiar sa bhliain 1909.
Ní fios cén riocht a bheadh ar an nGaeilge ná ar an tír féin fiú murach
an 'teasghrádh' a bhí ag de hÍde d'Éirinn, dá muintir agus dá
hoidhreacht chultúrtha.”

Dr Kelly Fitzgerald
Ceann Scoil na Gaeilge, an Léinn Cheiltigh agus an Bhéaloidis UCD

Douglas Hyde was the first President of Ireland, serving from 1938 to 1945, the first president of Conradh na Gaeilge (the Gaelic League) and the first Professor of Modern Irish in UCD from 1909. In that year, he was also appointed as a member of the first Senate of NUI and was an active member of the Senate until 1919. Given these strong connections, NUI and UCD School of Irish, Celtic Studies, and Folklore are pleased to honour the memory of Douglas Hyde by collaborating in the organisation of this lecture series.

Photos from the lecture:

(L-R) Dr Emer Purcell, NUI; Dr Mary Harris, University of Galway and Dr Kelly Fitzgerald, UCD.
(L-R) Dr Emer Purcell, NUI; Dr Mary Harris, University of Galway and Dr Kelly Fitzgerald, UCD.
(L-R) Dr Emer Purcell, NUI; Dr Mary Harris, University of Galway and Dr Kelly Fitzgerald, UCD.
Dr Conor Mulvagh responding to Dr Harris' lecture.
Dr Conor Mulvagh responding to Dr Harris' lecture.
Dr Conor Mulvagh responding to Dr Harris' lecture.
Dr Patrick O'Leary, NUI Registrar; Prof Regina Uí Chollatáin, Senior Professor and Chair of Modern Irish in the UCD School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore; Dr Mary Harris; Dr Kelly Fitzgerald and Dr Conor Mulvagh, UCD.
Dr Patrick O'Leary, NUI Registrar; Prof Regina Uí Chollatáin, Senior Professor and Chair of Modern Irish in the UCD School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore; Dr Mary Harris; Dr Kelly Fitzgerald and Dr Conor Mulvagh, UCD.
Dr Patrick O'Leary, NUI Registrar; Prof Regina Uí Chollatáin, Senior Professor and Chair of Modern Irish in the UCD School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore; Dr Mary Harris; Dr Kelly Fitzgerald and Dr Conor Mulvagh, UCD.
Dr Mary Harris giving the 2024 Hyde Lecture.
Dr Mary Harris giving the 2024 Hyde Lecture.
Dr Mary Harris giving the 2024 Hyde Lecture.

 


Further information from:

Dr Patrick O’Leary
Registrar
National University of Ireland
49 Merrion Square
Dublin 2, D02 V583
Ph: 01 4392424
www.nui.ie
Twitter: @NUIMerrionSq

Dr Kelly FitzGerald
Head, UCD School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore
Newman Building, University College Dublin
Belfield
Dublin 4
Ph: 01 7168140
www.ucd.ie/icsf/
Twitter: @UCDScoilGLCB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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