Costello, John Aloysius

Costello, John Aloysius,

1891–1976, Irish political leader. A barrister, he joined the attorney general's office of the newly founded Irish Free State in 1922. In 1926 he became attorney general under William CosgraveCosgrave, William Thomas
, 1880–1965, Irish statesman; father of Liam Cosgrave. A member of Sinn Féin, he fought in the Easter Rebellion (1916) and was sentenced to life imprisonment.
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. A member of Fine GaelFine Gael
, Irish political party. Formed in 1933, it was the successor of the party founded by William Cosgrave that held power from the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922 until ousted by the republican Fianna Fáil in 1932.
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, he was elected to Ireland's parliament in 1933 and served there until 1969. In 1948, Fine Gael formed a coalition government and, despite not being party leader, Costello became prime minister (1948–51). He introduced (1948) the Republic of Ireland Act, which withdrew the country from the Commonwealth of Nations, breaking with a party commitment to remain in the Commonwealth. The law led to Britain's Ireland Act (1949), which required the approval of the Northern Irish parliament before Northern Ireland would cease to be part of the United Kingdom. In 1954 Costello and Fine Gael once more formed a coalition government (1954–57). During his second term, the economy faltered and the Irish Republican ArmyIrish Republican Army
(IRA), nationalist organization devoted to the integration of Ireland as a complete and independent unit. Organized by Michael Collins from remnants of rebel units dispersed after the Easter Rebellion in 1916 (see Ireland), it was composed of the more
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 resumed terror attacks.


See biography by D. McCullagh (2010).

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