Born in the Civil War of 1922Ė23, the army of the Republic of Ireland occupied a sensitive place in the national culture for many years. In World War II, it faced the challenge of maintaining Irelandís integrity as a neutral. Post-war, it found a new role in 1960, providing troops for the United Nations intervention in the war-torn Congo; and since then has supported UN missions in the Middle East and elsewhere. More recently the border with troubled Ulster has obliged the Republic to invest in reform and modernisation. Irelandís freedom to seek examples and equipment worldwide has created an interesting progression of uniforms, illustrated in this study of Irelandís forces over 80 years.
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