Sunday Long Reads: Living with mental illness; the business of festivals; and should Eircode be scrapped?

Kick back with a cup of coffee and enjoy the best long reads from Newstalk

You can 'feel the Bern' with this week's long reads, as Newstalk reporter Richard Chambers talks to Bernie Sanders supporters at one of the Democratic hopeful's rallies in California. Meanwhile, Emma Kelly of Birmingham City University looks at the likely outcomes of a new inquest into the Birmingham bombings.

Closer to home, Jess Kelly examines the controversial Eircode system and asks whether it should be scrapped. Fiona Kennedy gives an insight into life with borderline personality disorder and occasional depression. Other topics covered include Irish criminals around the world, the business of festivals and the ongoing plight of Ibrahim Halawa in Egypt (as well as his family here in Ireland).

So sit back and enjoy some of the best content from Newstalk.com this week:

The Business of Festivals: Sound Investments?

In the summer of 1975, a relative of mine who was then a 12 year old Irish girl from Dublin visiting the city of Birmingham for the first time, was repeatedly warned by her Kidderminster-settled aunt 'do not open your mouth; if someone says ‘hello’ or asks how are you are, you are to just smile'.

This scenario was very much a sign of the times, and paints an accurate picture of the 'moral panic' evoked by the media around Irish people in the Midlands in the wake of the bombings which had taken place in Birmingham just a short time before.

Living with mental illness: A long and winding road

Fiona Kennedy | Image: sunnyspellsandscatteredshowers.org

For the longest time, I thought I was a bit different. Not different in a funky, quirky kind of way, just, different - awkward, didn’t fit in. Turns out I was, although it wasn’t my fault.

Eight years ago a diagnosis of clinical depression made sense of some of me, and two years ago a further diagnosis of borderline personality disorder/emotional intensity disorder made a whole lot more sense.

With hindsight, I can see the impact both of these conditions have been having for most of my life, but it became a much bigger problem after I had my kids.

Should Eircode be scrapped?: A closer look at the national postcode system

A plan to produce a national postcode system for Ireland was announced by in October 2013 by then-Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte. This proposal was broadly welcomed as Ireland was the only country within the OECD without such a system in place.

Almost one year on from the launch of the system, named Eircode, we take a closer look at its origin and its future.

Gangsters keep their heads down as they move between Ireland, Spain and Holland

Gardaí stand guard after the murder of Eddie Hutch Snr, one of the victims of the Hutch-Kinahan feud | PA Images

Irish criminals have spread their business across the world in recent years, orchestrating the flow of drugs into the country from Spain and Holland.

Gardaí say they are now open to sending officers abroad to track down the gang leaders thought to be behind the recent string of gangland murders in Dublin.

The force is also working with international agencies to tackle the assets of criminals in other countries.

Birmingham bombings inquest may not deliver convictions, but could provide closure

In the summer of 1975, a relative of mine who was then a 12 year old Irish girl from Dublin visiting the city of Birmingham for the first time, was repeatedly warned by her Kidderminster-settled aunt 'do not open your mouth; if someone says ‘hello’ or asks how are you are, you are to just smile'.

This scenario was very much a sign of the times, and paints an accurate picture of the 'moral panic' evoked by the media around Irish people in the Midlands in the wake of the bombings which had taken place in Birmingham just a short time before.

"Stripped, beaten, isolated": Halawa's sister presses government to secure his release

Somaia (right) and sister Nosayba on Grafton Street in Dublin | File photo: PA Images

The sister of Ibrahim Halawa has urged the government to step up its efforts to free her brother.

Earlier, a lawyer representing Mr Halawa said an Egyptian presidential decree could be used to secure his release.

Law 140 allows foreign defendants to be repatriated back to their country of origin before sentencing, to either be tried in court or serve out their sentence, Mark Wassouf of the Doughty Street Chambers told Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show.

Bernie Sanders supporters: "Trump would be a terrible force to unleash on the Irish"

It's Bernie or bust for hundreds of thousands of lefties in California, where Bernie Sanders is readying himself for his last stand against Hillary Clinton. 

Senator Sanders is facing elimination from the US Presidential process, but is now hanging his hopes on the fervour of Californians in Oakland, San Francisco and Los Angeles to turn up the pressure on the Democrats' super delegates to legitimise his claim to be the best person to challenge Donald Trump in November.