Should be noted that the EU commission is actually after Ireland for giving illegal tax benefits to Apple. Apple didn't actually do anything wrong. It's now the Irish PM mr. Noonan fighting the EU courts.
Basically Ireland did what every small country does, it turned itself into a place with low corporate taxes so that companies would move their headquarters (piece of paper not actual buildings) to there. Luxemburg, Isle of Man (UK), Puerto Rico (US), Vatican, etc they all do it in one form or the other (low income/corporate/inher taxes). Difference is that Ireland is actually part of the EU (member state), and they simply do not have the power to lowball other EU countries and especially grant specific deals to specific companies. Please keep in mind that what Ireland is doing might be beneficial to them, but very dangerous to everyone else as it encourages a "race to the bottom" as in nations competing to give corporation the better deal.
I think this is a good thing, I just wish we could declare open economic warfare against all tax heavens, they are a cancer to real economies that actually produce something.