Thanks for the insurance info. As far as buying something there, the consensus seems to be that you need a local "front" person to buy a bike there. Most of what seems to be selling in Ireland are the small dual sports. The used bikes from the tour operators seem to be a great deal, but you can't bring them back to the States (thanks to the EPA requirements).
I'm planning on doing 3 months of 2-up touring and the larger bikes on the Euro sales websites seem way more than a US bike probably because of the exchange rates. So far, shipping seems like the best way to go unless I find a deal on a touring bike from a soldier who doesn't want to ship it home at the end of their tour.