If Johnny Adair had a nuclear weapon


Benjamin Netanyahu made a passionate yet simple case at the UN this week for why the world must stop the Islamic Republic of Iran from becoming a nuclear power. Given that most Irish commentators were not particularly impressed by the Israeli Prime Minister's plea for action, allow me to make an even simpler case, one which might strike a cord with Irish people.

Imagine that the Northern Irish troubles were still raging. And imagine that there was a coup by a hard line loyalist group like the UDA or UVF and that they overthrew the Unionist government in Stormount. And imagine that a bloodthirsty terrorist like Johnny Adair was the new dictator of Northern Ireland. And what if he declared his intention to once and for all eradicate the Catholic Republican threat by annihilating the Republic of Ireland. And finally, imagine intelligence reports continued to make clear that the UDA government in Belfast was actively seeking to develop a nuclear capability. What would we in Dublin do if faced with a situation like that? I make this analogy because that is the situation that Israel is currently faced with. The main difference however is that the Mullahs in Iran are much more fanatic than loyalist paramilitaries in northern Ireland. For the record, if I was the Taoiseach and it my responsibility to confront the aforementioned loyalist danger I would do the following. I would send covert teams into Northern Ireland to assassinate the nuclear scientists working on Belfast's nuclear programme and if possible Adair himself. I would develop an aerial capability to destroy Northern Ireland's nuclear sites and if necessary to bomb all significant military and economic targets in order to destroy the North's capability to conduct war. I wouldn't give a damn if anyone thought I was a war monger. I would do whatever was necessary to prevent my country from being nuked.