|The distinctive signature of 'An Craoibhin'|
All Presidents need some down time. For Douglas Hyde, academic, Irish language activist and first President of Ireland, this place of privacy and contemplation was at his family home at Frenchpark, Co. Roscommon. The family moved to the area of Ratra in the 1860s and always maintained a special place in the heart of Douglas Hyde. (Hyde would also go by the nom de plume “An Craoibhin Aoibhinn”) Even in his advanced years, after becoming President of Ireland in 1938 and taking residence in Áras an Uactaráin in Dublin, Hyde still made private visits to Frenchpark, returning to re-live some quieter moments among the nature he so quite clearly loved.
|Cover of the Hyde Photograph Album (P38)|
The album is a wonderful addition, among other Hyde papers at the Hardiman Library and which explore the deep connection to the West of Ireland to the social, cultural and political development of the State. Here are a selection of images from the album and the album in full can be viewed in the Archives Reading Room.