OF THE three states that joined in January 1973, Ireland has been by far the most communautaire. Yet until 1973 its history, its location, and its economic dependence upon the United Kingdom made it impossible for Ireland to join. Within Ireland the real watershed in attitudes was in the period 1958–61. Until then it had been outside the mainstream of European politics, having been non-belligerent in ‘the Emergency’ (that is, the Second World War), and so preoccupied with the Partition of the island of Ireland that it had both refused to join NATO in 1949 and pursued the so-called policy of the ‘sore thumb’ in European institutions it did belong to, especially the Council of Europe. ‘Neutrality’, Partition, irredentism, the claustrophobic relationship with Britain and protectionism were the key features of Irish policy.