Dolores McEvoy was a homeless mother, whose family suffered hard times due to the fact that they were Irish immigrants, during a time when most of the people of Poplar resented the Irish. She appeared in Series 4, Episode 4.
Dolores' husband was promised a good job in Poplar, and so he, his wife and their two sons moved to the East End. Unfortunately, the two couldn't find anyone to rent a flat to them, and the family became destitute. Sometime before the move, Dolores found herself pregnant for a third time
We first see Dolores in the antenatal clinic with her sons, who eagerly drink the juice the nurses offered as a free sample. One of her boys drinks too quickly and spills some down his cheek. With a smile, Dolores wipes away the juice and tells him to ease up. Another women overheard Dolores' accent and remarked how the Irish are flooding in to Poplar, much to her disgust. At this time, Mrs. Turner informs the patients that there is a dysentery outbreak in Poplar.
When Dolores sees Nurse Crane, she tells the nurse she doesn't want an examination and that she only wants to talk about the possibility of a hospital delivery. Nurse Crane says they can talk about that when it's closer to her due date, in her home. Nurse Crane confirms her address and asks Mrs. McEvoy to lay down on the table. Dolores becomes uncomfortable. Nervously, Dolores sits on the bed and removes her shoes as instructed, revealing that her shoes are stuffed with newspaper for warmth. When she lifts her dress to allow the nurse to palpate her belly, she reveals that her underskirt is a burlap sack and that her midsection is riddled with fleabites. When Nurse Crane takes notice, she tells the nurse that her sons took in a kitten.
Later, Dolores and her sons enter a Catholic church where her husband, Daniel, waits for them. The children happily embrace their father, and Dolores gives him some bread, while he gives her a few coins, assuring her that he will have more for them by the end of the week. Dolores is exhausted, telling her husband she wants and needs to sleep under the same roof as him, and that the boarding house for homeless women and children where they are staying treats them like animals. He tells her to have faith in God, but she replies that she put her faith in him.
Not long after, Nurse Crane stops by the address Dolores gave her and is surprised to find that another family entirely lives there, the owner of the house sternly replying that there are no Irish on the entire block, that it is a decent neighbourhood without Irish. Nurse Crane asks Shelagh if the address she recorded is correct, and upon learning that Mrs. McEvoy gave them the wrong address, Phyllis concludes that it was on purpose.
We then see Dolores sitting with her sons in a tunnel, giving them a hot pastry to eat, assuring them that they will be out of the cold soon, because the boarding house opens at 7PM. Dolores leans back against the stone wall, pleading that God give them shelter for the night.
Soon after, Nurse Crane and Trixie are called to a women only boarding house by the superintendant, who flippantly tells them the woman in need is in labour, is sick with something and that she’s Irish. Nurse Crane is astonished to see that their patient is Mrs. McEvoy.
Upon a quick examination, Trixie realizes Dolores is infected with dysentery. Nurse Crane has Dolores’ young sons wait downstairs after giving them candy. Trixie and Phyllis get Dolores cleaned up and tell her that the cramps from the dysentery have masked her contractions and that she’s too far along in labour to transfer. Nurs Crane asks the superintendant for hot water, and she is reluctant to boil water, but does so.
Dolores is too tired to push, and tells the nurses she can’t do anymore. The landlady sees how tired and nearly delirious she is, and feels compassion for her. The landlady offers the nurses her own clean towels to wrap the baby in when it comes. Hoping to encourage Dolores to push, Nurse Crane asks where her husband is. Dolores reveals that her husband is living in a men’s hostile. Nurse Crane asks the superintendant to fetch him, and she initially refuses, saying that men are not allowed in their boarding house. However, Nurse Crane pleads with her to find Mr. McEvoy, and she leaves to find him.
Trixie encourages Dolores to push, and using all her strength, Dolores gives birth to a little girl. However, due to the fact that she’s infected with dysentery, Nurse Crane holds the newborn for her mother to see. Dolores tells her daughter not to look at anything else but her, promising her that the dismal hovel isn’t her real home.
Shortly after, the superintendant returns with Mr. McEvoy, and he is allowed to hold the baby. The two share a look of shame and anguish, and he asks his wife to forgive him for what their life has become. He says the midwives must think they’re foolish to moving to Poplar with nothing, but relays that he was promised a good job, and that there are few landlords that will rent to Irish. Mr. McEvoy swears he will work however much he has to, to ensure they have a home again.
The case of Mrs. McEvoy prompts Dr. Turner and Nurse Crane to seek out a council official, Mr. Lansing, about the disgusting conditions the boarding houses are allowed to operate in. Nurse Crane shames the man into approving an inspection of the building, and due to the dysentery, he also plans to have the building “fogged” to destroy any vermin or germs that remain.
At the fogging, Nurse Crane remarks that she’d heard that Mr. Lansing has a newborn baby boy, and asks if he would be happy to live with his son in a decrepit building like the boarding house, even without the disease and insects. Mr. Lansing becomes defensive and says he isn’t responsible for the building’s conditions. Nurse Crane and Dr. Turner then have the man use his position of power to influence the housing department in an effort to improve boarding house conditions. He agrees.
Sometime later, the McEvoy’s move into their brand new, pristine flat in a tower block, much to their joy.