How would the Russian bears get to patrol from Shannon?while our geographic position makes use remote from land threats, it makes us potentially vital for transatlantic air and sea transport and military ops in that area.
Ireland’s ports, airports, radar, submarine cables (to a degree) and Possibly data centres Could Be very important in case of a regional conflict.
in the case of such a conflict as a neutral we should be denying them to all comers But acquiring them would be in both sides interests (if only to prevent the other side acquiring them, for one side it would be a major logistical operation for the other not so much).
The chances of a regional conflict are small to very small but they are still a threat.
Imagine Russian Bears patrolling the Atlantic from Shannon (instead of Northern Russia) or a threat to U.K. Irish Sea (and other) ports from Russian missiles operating from Ireland. Equally when AAR would be
underpressure, AWACS, P8s etc operating from Shannon Rather than the U.K for securing the Atlantic ensuring longer time on task.
again the chances are remote but we are in a strategic position on the edge of the Atlantic and Europe.
the chance of anyone attacking Ireland (Conventional) to just attack Ireland are probably not Even worth mentioning... it is all about the U.K./Europe’s flank.