George Stacpoole (b. 1937)
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George Stacpoole (b. 1937)


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Track 1: The Stacpoole family are originally Normans who came to Ireland from Wales with Strongbow, and George Stacpoole explains that he can trace his own family back to the 12th century. He recalls his grandfather Richard, who was brought up in Eden Vale, just outside Ennis, Co. Clare. Richard Stacpoole was a gentleman farmer and landowner, until he sold the property in the late 1920s and went to live in Cheltenham. George and his parents lived nearby. George’s father, Richard Hassard Stacpoole, joined up in 1914 as a regular soldier with the Royal Artillery, attending the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich. His great-uncle, George William Stacpoole, had been in the Army during the Boer War and was then recalled at the outbreak of WWI. George details his father’s military career in WWI, until he was invalided back to England in 1917 and he explains that his great-uncle, George William, was also active in France and was awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre and Order of Leopold. He had been in the Clare Artillery Militia with his brother Richard, and had then transferred to South Staffordshire Regiment, going to South Africa to serve in the Boer War and retiring in 1907. He lived in Croom, Co. Limerick, and died in 1939. His nephew Richard (George’s father), inherited his belongings, and George recalls stories about his great-uncle being well-known as an extraordinary horseman who won races at Punchestown and Sandown. Track 2: Richard Hassard Stacpoole, George’s father, was awarded the Military Cross in 1917 for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty under enemy shellfire. George remembers him as a disciplined man but explains that he could appear remote. He says that he and his brother, Patrick, did not ask him about his experiences because children did not do so in those days. Patrick Stacpoole also joined the Royal Artillery and had a military career. Their father recommended soldiering as a career to George, and he did National Service for two years in England, which he enjoyed. Richard Hassard joined up in 1914 and he did not return to Ireland until after his retirement in 1950. He was always known as Colonel Stacpoole, and George recalls that in those days there was some negative feeling about serving in the British Army but it never caused any great problems. His mother, Helen Morphy, collected for the British Legion but she was prudent about whom to approach and she had also done voluntary work during WWII. George’s parents met in India where Richard was with the Army after having served in Palestine, and details of this Palestinian service are provided. Their family home in Ireland was to be Castleconnell in Co. Limerick, where many other ex-Army people, such as the Warrens, Gambles and Thackerays also lived. Track 3: George talks about his interest in antiques. He remembers his childhood in Cheltenham during wartime and the influence of his two great-aunts who were collectors. The great house sales of the 1950s and 1960s in Ireland are recalled. His life as an estate manager and antique dealer, which began fifty years ago in Limerick city, is described. He explains that he was fortunate with the Cecil Street shop because its low rent and he also explains that the move to Adare was made about 35 years ago. An anecdote about some trade dealers is recounted and the development of the antique dealing business from hawking and cattle dealing is discussed. His entry into the book trade in the 1970s is mentioned, and George talks about the fascination of learning about artists and the selling of prints and paintings. He is a founder member of the Irish Antique Dealers’ Association and he talks about his long-standing position as its president. His television appearances are recalled and he talks about his long association with the community in Adare and the importance of the village for tourism. The sale of Adare Manor is also recalled. Track 4: Richard Hassard Stacpoole, George’s father, was an only son and thus was the inheritor of his grandfather’s estate. The reasons why Eden Vale was sold are set out, and a discussion follows about some older family members, born in Victorian times and George’s memories of them. He considers the label ‘Anglo-Irish’ and explains the difference between his family and those who owned large estates. He recalls his great-aunt, Gwen Stacpoole ,who was a republican who lived in Dublin, and he talks about the family archive of photograph albums and other material, some of which is now in Trinity College Dublin. The possible reasons why Eden Vale did not suffer any reprisals during the War of Independence are considered.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The Irish Country House and the Great War


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

10.45 MB, 10.04 MB, 5.95 MB, 10.52 MB, 14.20 MB

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Eden Vale, Co. Clare and the Stacpoole family

Recorded by:

Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore