Douglas Hyde was first President of Ireland and co-founder of Conradh Na Gaeilge (the Gaelic League). The interpretive exhibition and information centre is dedicated to this remarkable man.
Portahard Church, Church of Ireland, was built in 1740 and restored in 1988 by Roscommon County Council. Its original function was preserved and an Interpretative Centre telling the life story of Dr. Douglas Hyde (1860-1949) was installed.
Dr. Hyde’s contribution to modern Ireland is highlighted in the exhibition by the use of informative charts, maps and photographs. Through audio-visual material you can capture the spirit of his dream and celebrate the achievements of one life dedicated to one vision.
Also on display is the original letter nominating him as first President of Ireland, signed by members of the two main political parties in Dáil Éireann – Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael – along with many other items of historical interest.
The grounds of the building have been tastefully landscaped and include Garden an Chraoibhín. The trees and shrubs in the Garden have been selected with reference to old Irish folklore, each plant illustrates part of an ancient Calendar Alphabet System.