War of words between Griffith and Hyde

Published: 12 July 1913

The newspaper Sinn Féin has today published a letter by its editor, Arthur Griffith, defending critical comments he made against Dr. Douglas Hyde and the Gaelic League.  The letter reads: ‘In the course of your statement to the Central Branch of the Gaelic League you said – according to the report in The Freeman’s Journal – 'I see a pretence is set up that I have treated the Whig Government differently from the Tory. That is false.'’

This remark, claims Mr. Griffith, was in reference to an article in last week’s edition of Sinn Féin in which he claimed that the loss of Irish in 2,000 primary schools under a Liberal government in the past six years is a result of the Gaelic League’s decision ‘to sit on its hunkers’. He compares this to the ‘public and formidable agitation on behalf of the Irish language’ carried out by the League while the Tories were in power.

This public war of words will surely serve to further unsettle the Gaelic League in the wake of rumours of a schism between Dr. Hyde and certain members of the Coiste Gnótha, whom Hyde accuses of attempting to undermine and ridicule him.

Hyde is expected to stand for re-election as president of the League at its annual convention in Galway next month.

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