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The Irish Republic is a nation in Western Europe. It is one of the last "powers" on the continent, after the downfall of the European continent. It boasts the second highest economy in all of Europe, as well as the second highest standard of living.
Pre-World War II
Ireland had attempted to gain independence several times before. It was leaning toward full sovereignty by the beginning of World War II, as a nation simply called Ireland.
World War II
Ireland was neutral in World War II, although leaned slightly toward the Allied forces.
Post-World War II
As the only entirely unaffected country during World War II, Ireland fared somewhat better than other countries. While still very bitter with the UK, it helped exchange everyday staples of life such as food and clean water. In return for helping the United Kingdom, they ceded Northern Ireland to Ireland in exchange for continued support and an OTL equivalent of three billion pounds. Great Britain, however, still viewed Ireland as a realm of the Commonwealth and once basic medical and agricultural problems were put aside, the fighting resumed. Surprisingly, Ireland received support from Portugal, who helped it narrowly win most of the "Ireland Battles", which lasted from 1950 to 1952. After needing to pay war reparations to Ireland, the United Kingdom began to experience what the rest of Europe was now experiencing, the "Great European Depression".
While continuing to establish itself as a continental power, it began trade relations with the United States. Ever since the Marshall Plan was rejected, the United States had focused at prospering at home and on the continent rather than becoming an international superpower. This powerful ally nearly doubled the Irish economy, as it was the only country at the time in Europe who had access to American goods.
As a result of its economic prosperity, it attracted many of the rump states of the United Kingdom. The Isle of Mann attempted to secede from Great Britain, seeing that it could prosper more as an independent nation. Ireland partially funded the Mann Independence War, and helped it win the duration of the war. The third war in ten years caused even worse conditions for the United Kingdom, so, as a result, it gave partial sovereignty to the Isle of Mann, which would later become an associated state of Ireland, under conditions that it remain in the British Commonwealth.
Ireland is tied with Portugal for being the most powerful country in all of West Europe, and is the strongest economically speaking. It is considered one of the "Gateway to America" since it is one of the few nations left in Europe that continues to trade with the US.
The economy of Ireland is primarily resale of American goods, agriculture, banking, commercial business, and low-level industry. It has the highest per capital income in all of Europe, with the average person making $29,600.