Very interesting that a new poll of all EU countries, commissioned by the European Parliament, shows that turnout in the European elections is expected to be higher in Ireland than any other country in the EU.
66 percent of Irish people say they are certain to vote, compared to an EU average of 43 percent - topping even Belgium and other countries where voting is compulsory. (Greece comes joint top with Ireland).
This is the country, don't forget, that recently held a much-coveted referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.
So it is further proof that holding referendums on the big EU issues is a great way to stoke public interest and debate in the EU, and even improve the public's knowledge of how it works and what it does (see here for Professor Matt Qvortrup's existing research on how referendums on EU issues have bolstered public knowledge in a number of countries in the past)
This is precisely what the EU institutions claim they want - with their constant complaints that people aren't interested enough, and no-one understands what's going on. And yet they would rather rob their own grandmothers than support calls for the public to be consulted on things like the Lisbon Treaty.