During 2018-19 I discovered (quite a shock) that I'm a blood relative of Douglas Hyde, 1st President. How I managed to reach 55 years of age before I learnt this I have no idea. My late father had a very sad falling out with his mother after WW2 when she remarried, and I think he swept all his history under the carpet - such was his hurt.
My great-great-grandfather was the maverick barrister Edward Vaughan Hyde Kenealy - he defended the Fenian men Burke and Casey in 1867 at Bow Street in London at the time of the Fenian Rising. Edward's maternal great-great-grandmother was a daughter of Arthur Hyde - of Castlehyde at Fermoy.
Douglas Hyde’s branch of the family diverged from mine at that point into a dynasty of vicars (all Arthurs) lasting four generations.
I was raised in London and speak with a neutral London accent. I've never visited Ireland, but it's obviously something I have to do very soon - ie while I'm still around. I had a bad illness during 2017-18 which I have now 95% recovered from, so best to visit soon.
There seem to very few descendants left from the Hydes of Castlehyde - all my research so far suggests that surprisingly few of the Hydes had children over a number of generations. Castlehyde itself was owned by Michael Flatley for some years, although he has been trying to sell it - I don't know if there is now a new owner.
Douglas Hyde's achievements are obviously well-known, including co-founding the Gaelic League.
So my humble message to the people of Ireland is that old naval term: "Request permission to come aboard."