Republic of IrelandHistoryDuring World War II, Eire remained neutral and vigorously protested Allied military activity in Northern Ireland. The British were denied the use of Irish ports, and German and Japanese agents were allowed to operate in the country. However, great numbers of Irishmen volunteered to serve with the British armed forces. The people of Eire suffered relatively little hardship during the war and even profited from increased food exports. The postwar period brought a sharp rise in the cost of living and a decline in population, due in great part to steady emigration to Northern Ireland, Great Britain, and other countries. In 1948, Prime Minister Costello demanded total independence from Great Britain and reunification with the six counties of Northern Ireland.The Republic of Ireland was proclaimed on Apr. 18, 1949. The country withdrew from the Commonwealth and formally claimed jurisdiction over the Ulster counties. It was admitted to the United Nations in 1955. Nothing came of the claim to Ulster, and during the 1950s and 60s the
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