Show of affection for Noonan
OH dear, oh dear. Michael Noonan likes to present himself as a bit of a Limerick Rottweiler but the Finance Minister looks worryingly like a European poodle in pictures published in today's Irish Independent.
Snaps beamed home from the meeting of eurozone finance ministers show Mr Noonan on the receiving end of what can only be described as a pat on the head from Eurogroup president Jean- Claude Juncker.
Only a very obvious accident of nature seems to have prevented the ever-cheerful Luxembourger Juncker from treating the minister's hair to an affectionate tussle.
'The Punt' has to confess, we're at a loss as to whether it represents a step up or a step down from the customary pat on the back for Irish leaders on the euro circuit.
One thing is for sure, the love-in didn't make a whit of difference in the negotiations currently ongoing over the banking debts.
Mr Noonan's colleagues in Europe will send him home empty handed again today, leaving the minister facing into a brutal December Budget without the salve of a debt deal to help soften the blow.
It seems the affection has its limits.