Fourteen kilometres southwest of Boyle lies the village of Frenchpark, where the former Church of Ireland parish church is home to the Douglas Hyde Interpretive Centre. The centre recounts the life of Douglas Hyde (1860–1949), one of the key figures in the Irish cultural revival, with numerous informative displays and an entertaining video.

Born in Castlerea, 13km south of Frenchpark, to Anglo-Irish Ascendancy stock, Hyde learnt Irish at an early age and developed a lifelong interest in the nation’s rich vernacular tradition and folklore. After attending Trinity College he became professor of Modern Irish Language and Literature at the National University of Ireland and produced numerous articles, essays and reviews in Irish, as well as collaborating on a number of Irish-language plays with Lady Gregory. Hyde also travelled the country widely, gathering material, much of which was transcribed in collections such as the highly influential Love Songs of Connaught. In 1893, he was a co-founder of the Gaelic League, which aimed to enhance Irish culture via a revival of musical and linguistic traditions, though Hyde later became concerned by the League’s increasing links with the Independence movement and resigned as its president in 1915. Elected to the Irish Senate in 1925, he retired from public life in 1932 until he was appointed the country’s first president in 1938.

After his death Hyde was interred in the graveyard of his father’s former parish – his grave is the last of eight family members in the corner behind the statue erected in his honour.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Ireland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Solo travel can be one of the most rewarding ways to explore the world. Whether you'd rather spend it on a desert island or in a frenetic new city, here are th…

21 Dec 2016 • Rachel Mills camera_alt Gallery
12 dreamy pictures of Ireland

12 dreamy pictures of Ireland

With its remote beauty, rugged landscapes and windswept coastlines, Ireland is a photographer's dream. Here, Philip Joyce shares some of his best pictures of…

23 Aug 2016 • Philip Joyce insert_drive_file Article
8 great alternative UK city breaks

8 great alternative UK city breaks

London, Edinburgh, Cardiff… These are the usual suspects when visitors are thinking about UK city breaks. But there are actually 66 other cities to be explore…

15 Aug 2016 • Greg Dickinson insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month