Thomas Stafford (b. 1935)
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Thomas Stafford (b. 1935)


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Thomas Stafford begins the recording by reading an obituary for his uncle Ned Stafford of Swords, Co. Dublin. Brigid Stafford, whom Thomas describes as “a lady”, was Ned Stafford’s mother. The Stafford parents and their nine children lie at rest at Swords Cemetery. Thomas explains that his uncle Ned became involved in nationalism having heard Thomas MacDonagh speak at a meeting in Swords. Once he had made his decision his mother supported him, and the family knew the prominent people involved. Ned Stafford was in Boland’s Mills during the 1916 Rising and he later joined the Free State Army. Thomas learned about his uncle’s activities from his cousins, as in general the adults would not tell them anything specific though he did pick up pieces of information from time to time. He recounts an anecdote relating to his cousin Joe, and explains that as a child he would run about playing cops, and shouting ‘Bang, bang, they shot Uncle Ned dead.’ Joe was of the opinion that this probably referred to the military funeral afforded to his uncle. Thomas reads a letter written by Brigid Stafford in 1926 regarding the death of Private Edward Stafford from tuberculosis contracted while on active service. In her letter she is proud to testify that her son fought during Easter Week under the leadership of Risteard Mulcahy. The letter also contains details of Ned’s engagements during the following years. Ned Stafford’s father Patrick worked as a gardener. Three of his sons joined the Irish Army – the interviewee’s father Thomas, George and Ned. Brigid Stafford, who died in 1968, is recalled and Thomas examines and discusses some family photographs. George Stafford served in the Irish Army from 1927 to 1960, he says. Thomas reads from a document addressed to Brigid Stafford in response to correspondence from December 1923 onward, relating to her application for a dependent’s allowance under the Army Pensions Act. He recalls the fact that she was notified that her application had been approved two years before her death. Thomas recalls being told of the raid by the Black and Tans, or possibly by British soldiers, during the War of Independence as they searched for Ned Stafford who was on the run. He was also told that the plans for Ashbourne were hidden in the house, the purpose of which was to prevent the train bringing troops into the city.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The 1916 Rising Oral History Collections


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

31.18 MB

Number of files:
Product ID:



Ned Stafford (Interviewee’s uncle)

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore