So, the BBC played legal tricks like that to get round the ban in news coverage, but still dropped that TNG episode, presumably because it didn't reckon a passing reference in an imported SF series was worth the trouble it might possibly cause.
I agree with you that it was banned in the UK too, not just Ireland. And as you gussed, it wasn't a legal necessity to not show it but a political one. They didn't want to show an episode about such a hot topic.
Sky One meanwhile wanted to be more edgy and showed it, but cut out the line about the IRA.