Re: Apple have strong bladders..
"At least the money won't go directly to Brussels but to the Dublin Government."
I imagine that within days, the bills will be going out from Brussels to Dublin, reassessing whatever bailouts and subsidies Ireland has received in recent years, an amount that might exceed 13 bn, especially if penalties and interest accrue. And some or maybe even all of that will be going to other Euro nations.
I like the analogy of the stolen car, though I don't know how accurate it is. The Irish gov't will not "go to jail" for misappropriating money from the other EU nations, but they may have to pay it back, with penalties and interest. I also like the analogy of seizing the assets of the tax payer; wait and they could disappear as easily as they were created. The 13 bn could end up as an uncollectable bill, on more than account.
As to the USA's role, remember this one: "The business of America is business." They may have said other things too, but beside that first one, everything else is crocodile tears.