Stephanie Dardis (b. 1943)
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Stephanie Dardis (b. 1943)


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Stephanie Dardis was born and reared in Rathmines in Dublin, the youngest of three children. She emigrated to London in 1962 shortly after her father’s death. Her paternal family, the Pollards, came from central Dublin. Stephen Pollard joined the Four Courts garrison of the Irish Volunteers in 1916, and his daughter explains that until she read his witness statement she was not aware of the full extent of his involvement. With his Enfield rifle, he had deserted the British Army to join the Volunteers. In later years he would bring his daughter to watch the military parade on O’Connell Street every Easter Sunday. Stephen Pollard’s escape from the Four Courts after the Rising, and its aftermath, are recalled. He was arrested and imprisoned in England. Stephanie has gleaned information about her father’s role in the struggle from his application for a military service pension, and she reads from a document verifying his involvement in the IRA up until 1920. Details of her father’s escape from the Four Courts, and his assumption of a false name are revisited. He was arrested at the munitions factory where he worked and was held in Dublin Castle for three days before being transported to Derby Prison. He was released under open arrest to go to Blackpool to join a draft for France in 1917. Stephen returned to Ireland at this time, and Stephanie remarks that because her father had deserted previously from the British Army, when he escaped at this time he was, in effect, deserting again. She reads from his statement a description of some of his activities while on the run until the amnesty of 1918, and also during the War of Independence. With Stephen Pollard in the Four Courts in 1916 were his brother Frank and sister Louisa. Stephanie explains that a large age gap exists between herself and her first cousins and it is only now that she is discovering details about her wider family. Stephanie remembers her father as being apolitical, and somebody who felt no bitterness towards the English. He married in his late thirties and was a strong family man. During WWII he took up employment in England to provide for his family. His wife was Eileen Foley whose mother came from Castlebar and whose father served in the British Army. Stephanie explains that her mother’s uncle was present outside Mountjoy Prison at the time of Kevin Barry’s execution. She reads a letter written in 1926 verifying Stephen Pollard’s employment at Moody’s Club in London for the previous four years, and she also reads from some letters supporting his application for the military service pension. At the time of Stephanie’s birth, Stephen was working at the Solus shop in Dublin where he remained until his retirement. On his death in 1962, his widow’s wish that there not be a military funeral was acceded to. Stephen Pollard is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery. Stephanie details the reasons why both of her parents were excommunicated for different reasons. She reads the notice about her father’s death which appeared in the Evening Herald in 1962, and she speaks of her pride in the part played by her father in the struggle for Irish independence.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The 1916 Rising Oral History Collections


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

33.94 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Stephen Pollard (Interviewee’s father)

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