Airbrushed and hair-brushed, the faces of dozens of European election candidates smile down from posters which seem to be fixed to every lamp-post on every highway in Ireland.
They come from every point on Ireland’s idiosyncratic political spectrum, from the traditional centre-right powerhouses of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, through the republicans of Sinn Féin, to Labour and the Greens on the left.
But one thing unites them all: an enthusiasm for the EU and a belief that its institutions, while not perfect, have been good for Ireland.
Such enthusiasm is hard to find in Greece which, like Ireland, received a massive EU financial rescue during the eurozone debt crisis.
Support from EU ‘family’
Maria Walsh is one of the more colourful candidates in the campaign, running