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John A. Costello

John A. Costello (1891-1976), a successful barrister, was one of the main legal advisors to the government of the Irish Free State after independence and was attorney-general of Ireland from 1926-1932.

He was first elected to the Dail (parliament) as a Fine Gael Deputy for County Dublin in 1933.

He twice served as Taoiseach (prime minister) in coalition governments, 1948-51 and 1954-57. He was not the leader of Fine Gael, however, he was chosen as a compromise candidate because the real leader, Richard Mulcahy, was seen to be an unacceptable choice as Taoiseach because of his Civil War record. Mulcahay modestly stepped asise and accepted the post of Minister for Education.

During Costello's first period as Taoiseach, the Irish Free State left the Commonwealth and the Republic Of Ireland came into existence on Easter Monday, 1949.

In 1955 Ireland, under the leadership of Costello, joined the United Nations.

He died in 1976.

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