Richard James Hayes

Life
1902-1976 [Richard James Hayes; R. J. Hayes; Risteard de Hae], b. Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick; ed. Clongowes and TCD; LLD; joined library, 1923; Asst. Lib., 1929; Director 1940-67; Comparative Idiom (1927), an introduction to study of mod. langs.; Catalogue of MSS relating to Irish History in Irish and Foreign Libraries, 11 vols. (US 1966) - largely compiled by Ludwig Bieler [q.v.]; appt. Government to Board of Directors fo ther Abbey Theatre, 1931;

worked in Irish intelligence during World War II; sometime director of Abbey and member of Arts Council; his chief bibliographical works, comprising the most extensive bibliographical surveys of Irish writing to date, are with Brighid Ní Dhonnchadha, Clár Litridheacht na Nua-Ghaedhilge, 1850-1936 [3 vols.] (Dublin: Oifig Dhiolta Foillseacháin Rialta 1938-40);

caused the Documents and Pictures (Regulation of Export) Act, 1945, to be passed in response to threatened sale of Ormonde Papers; also secured Inchiquin papers; produced Manuscript Sources for the History of Irish Civilisation (11 vols., 1965) and Sources for the History of Irish Civilisation: Articles in Irish Periodicals (9 vols., 1970), with 270,000 entries gleaned from 200 Irish-published periodicals; appt. dir. of Chester Beatty Library, 1967-76; d. 21 Jan. 1976, Dublin. DIW DIB DIH OCIL

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Works
  • Clar Litridheacht na Nua Gaedilge 1850-1936 (1938) [see details].
  • Manuscript Sources for the History of Irish Civilisation, 11 vols. (Boston: G. K. Hall 1965), and Do. First Supplement, 3 vols. (1979);
  • Sources for the History of Irish Civilisation, Articles in Irish Periodicals, 9 vols. (Boston: G. K. Hall 1970) [see contents].

Bibliographical details
Clar Litridheact Na Nua-Gaedilge 1850-1936, Risteárd de Hae, LL.D. [with] Brigid ní D[h]onnchadha, BA.] (1938) [verso title page, Oifig Díolta Foillseacháin Rialtais imprint]; 1 na leabhra [Vol. I], Authors, A-W[Z], 205pp; Línte Toasaigh na nDuan, pp.206-271; index, 287ff.

Clar Litridheacht na Nua-Gaedilge 1850-1936, Risteárd de Hae [solo], do cuir in n-eagar [solo], 2 na leabhra [Vol. II], Reámrádh [2]; Contents [1], Lirta na dTréimreacAn [journals], ix-xiii; litr. na nua-Gaedilge, A-Y[Z] of works by titles, 543pp.; teidíl na nduan, pp.544-81; Tocoir[?] gheinearálta [gen. index], pp.582-612; aimnneacha cleite [pseuds.], pp.613-620. [Note that pseuds. give Torna, &c. but not ‘Roibeard Ua Floinn’ (Robt. Lynd).

Sources for the History of Irish Civilisation, Articles in Irish Periodicals, 9 vols. (Boston: G. K. Hall 1970) [i.e., Vol. 1: Persons A-C. Vol. 2: Persons D-H. Vol. 3: Persons I-M. Vol. 4: Persons N-R. Vol. 5: Persons S-Z. Vol. 6: Subjects A-E. Vol. 7: Subjects F-O. Vol. 8: Subjects P-Z. Vol. 9: Places - Dates.]

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Commentary
W. B. Stanford, Ireland and the Classical Tradition (1984) cites R. J. Hayes, Sources for the History of Irish Civilisation: Articles in Irish Periodicals, vols. vi and vii (Boston 1970). (Stanford, p.186.)

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Patrick Henchy, The National Library of Ireland, 1941-1976: A Look Back by Patrick Henchy : A Paper read to the National Library of Ireland Society (NLI 1986): R. J. Hayes succceeded R. I. Best as Director in 1940; appt. David Green and Henchy to posts at Assistant Librarian grade, July 1941. [Henchy] did not see much of Hayes ‘as he had been seconded to work in Intelligence in the Department of Defence but he did still continue as Director and visited daily’; remarkably energetic man (p.7.) National bibliography [orig. in] fertile brain of R. J. Hayes: ‘But in 1954 Mr Frank Gallagher who sometime previously had been Director of the Govt. Information Bureau was appt to a new post as Bibliographical Research Officer in the National Library. It had been suggested to Hayes that he would compile a Dictionary of National [17] Biography. Hayes, who was never one to put the cart before the horse, took matters into his own hands and decided that this would not be possiblle, without, first of all, compiling a National Bibliography (the source material for a National Biography). Frank Gallagher was accordingly – with some assistants that were allotted to him – put to work indexing the Irish periodical collection.’ (pp.17-18.) Hayes resigned as Director, July 1967, becoming Librarian of the Chester Beatty Library. (p.22.) ‘[A]s a result of all this research and listing over two decades, Manuscript Sources for the History of Irish Civilisation , edited by R. J. Hayes was published in 11 vols. by G. K. Hall, Boston, in 1965. The time and energy of a large part of the staff had been engaged in this colossal project. Since then it has been kept up to date with supplements. In the meantime, the indexing of periodicals continued, and now this was published under the title: Sources for the history of Irish Civilisation: Articles in Irish Periodicals, ed. by R. J . Hayes and published in nine vols. by G. K. Hall, Boston, 1970. (pp.18-19.)

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Garret FitzGerald: ‘Dr. Richard Hayes, director of the National Library was a brilliant [code expert] admired by MI5 - but he also interrogated German agents after their capture, used chemicals to reveal a secret message sent by Hermann Görtz from his cell in Athlone, and in another case was able to show that an apparently authentic identity document found on a spy was partly forged. (In his spare time he also ran the library!) Incidentally, not only was Hayes’s opposite number at the National Museum, Dr Adolf Mahr (who was in Germany when the war broke out and was unable to return here) the head of the Nazi Party in Ireland, but we also learnt at the launch of these two books in the National Library that the director of the National Gallery during the war was a British agent!’ (Review of Eunan O’Halpin, ed., MI5 and Ireland 1939-1945, in The Irish Times, 31 Dec. 2002.)

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Eunan O’Halpin, ed., MI5 and Ireland, 1939-1945: The Official History (Dublin: IAP 2003), gives account of the operations of G2 (Irish Intelligence) especially those of Colonel Dan Bryan (Director) and code-breaker Dr Richard Hayes, as well as the spies themselves. (See “First Flush”, Books Ireland, Feb. 2003).

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References
Frank O’Connor, Book of Ireland (London: Collins 1959), gives extract from a recorded folk-memory of the French landing and Castlebar Races in 1798.

De Burca Books (Cat. No. 44; 1997) lists Ireland and Irishmen in the French Revolution. With a preface by Hilaire Belloc. Illustrated. London, Benn, 1932. Pages, xx, 314. V.good. Scarce. [£95.00]; Irish Swordsmen of France. With a foreword by Rev. Patrick Browne. Illustrated. Dublin, M.H. Gill & Son, 1934. Pages, xix, 307. V.good. [£85; both].

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