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Forgotten Patriot

Posted: 25 October, 2016

A new book by DIT lecturer Dr. Brian Murphy, entitled ‘Forgotten Patriot’, brings new insight into the role played by Douglas Hyde as Ireland’s first President.

Dr. Brian Murphy presenting a copy of Forgotten Patriot to President Michael D. Higgins at Áras an Úachtarán

‌Following its launch last week to considerable acclaim, Dr. Murphy was invited to Áras an Úachtarán where he presented a copy of his book to President Michael D. Higgins.

Forgotten Patriot: Douglas Hyde and the Foundation of the Irish Presidency provides a detailed analysis of Hyde’s tenure as President and also looks at how this important constitutional office has developed.  Explaining his fascination for his subject Murphy said, “I became aware that the Office was a hugely under-researched area in Irish historiography. It is also one of the most misunderstood. The lack of historical research into the Presidency, especially in regard to the office’s early years, has allowed a number of misconceptions to take root. The most significant of these is that the formative presidencies were politically irrelevant.”

According to the author, Douglas Hyde was in fact an inspired choice to become President in 1938, coming as he did from a non-partisan background as a Protestant nationalist and a leading figure in the language revival movement.  Murphy contends that Hyde was to the forefront in providing leadership on key political issues and also played ‘a highly significant but previously unheralded role in the state’s policy of neutrality during the Second World War’

Appropriately, Forgotten Patriot was also launched in the Douglas Hyde Interpretative Centre in Frenchpark, Co. Roscommon by Denis Naughten TD, Minister for Communications and Climate Change. The Centre was formerly the church where Douglas Hyde’s father was rector, and the former President is buried in the adjoining graveyard.  

Forgotten Patriot: Douglas Hyde and the Foundation of the Irish Presidency is published by Collins Press. The author, Dr. Brian Murphy, lectures in Communications at Dublin Institute of Technology.  A graduate of UCD, Dr. Murphy was awarded a PhD for his research on the Irish Presidency.