In a radio broadcast on the day Hyde’s inauguration as President of Ireland, Dr. Eoin Mac Néill, his friend and colleague in the Gaelic League, described his understanding of Hyde’s cultural vision:

“In this modem time of ours there has been a prevalent notion that culture is a class affair and only exists for the commonalty in so far as its privileges and benefits are conferred upon them by the existence of a cultured class in their midst. . . . Dr. Hyde was educated as a pupil of the Modern Renaissance and was steeped in its culture, but, unlike many others, he did not allow himself to be ruled by the notion that culture was not for the people. On the contrary, he went out among the people, he made himself at home with them, and he learned for himself and taught others, that there still existed among them a real foundation of culture, and he became the instrument of a remarkable effect. Instead of the Renaissance notion of a distant influence produced on common people by radiation from a limited and privileged class, Hyde caused an influence to radiate from the cottages and the fields into the circles and coteries of the elect, with what result I need not say; they know it themselves and do not deny it. But one thing ought to be clear to them and to others-if it is not, let them ask Douglas Hyde about it. He will tell them that this cultural influence that has come to him and from him exists in power and vitality in the same proportion as the Irish language exists in power and vitality in the homes of the people.”