Sunday Long Reads: Gardai threaten to march on Dail, the Irish influence in American soccer and what next for DC?

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

The pieces in this week's long reads take a look at the tragic death of MMA fighter João Carvalho, the Irish influence on soccer in the United States, and what's next for DC after Batman vs. Superman?

The Sound and the Fury: The story of football in Philadelphia

While for many Europe and South America remain the hub for the world’s greatest footballers, attempts have been made over the years to truly globalise the sport.

The Australian A-League has grown in popularity down under while the Chinese Super League looks set to become a dominant force in world football.

Many will credit the MLS with bringing the soccer into the social conscience in the United States, but before it gave credence to the sport's growing popularity, the North American Soccer League reigned supreme and who better to exemplify the “live fast, die young” attitude of America’s first fully national league than the Philadelphia Fury.

Now that "Batman V Superman" is out there, what's next for the DC movie universe?

If you've already seen Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice (or don't mind having some minor things spoiled for you), then you'll already know we've been introduced to some of the upcoming members of the Justice League.

Certain scenes are setting up the upcoming DC Cinematic Universe, but if you're wondering who's behind what and how it will all fit together, then we're here to clear up the narrative.

Show of force: Gardaí threatening to march on the Dáil in uniform need to cop-on

The photograph of a Garda sergeant under the bold headline “McGonigle still at large”, in Friday’s Irish Times was arresting at first glance on a number of levels, but principally because of the juxtaposition of the Garda uniform with the slightly troubling text.

On further examination, it becomes clear that the quarter page feature is an advertisement for TV3’s Red Rock soap, set in a fictional Garda Station and in which the aforementioned fictional sergeant Brian McGonigle is a central character (and apparently missing).

It’s regrettable that some of the fiery communications from this week’s various Garda representative organisation’s Annual Conferences didn’t also carry a notice as to their "fictional" effect and a notification they shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

Ryanair's charm offensive shows why it pays to be nice

Launching the next phase of the 'Always Getting Better' campaign at Ryanair's Swords headquarters this week, Michael O'Leary was full of praise for his low fares airline's new, "nicer" programme.

It has "transformed" Ryanair, the CEO said, as he rolled out further changes custom-built to bring a smile to customers' faces, including streamlined bag fees, a website redesign, slashed penalties for boarding pass reissues, options for extra leg room and the promise to make planes "less yellow".

The changes were introduced by a jovial O'Leary, far removed from the foul-mouthed airline chief who once followed the adage of "never apologise, never explain"...so what changed?

IMMAF: Government have kept MMA at arm’s length, it’s time to regulate

IMMAF (International Mixed Martial Arts Federation) CEO Densign White and President Kerrith Brown have called for government regulation for mixed martial arts in Ireland following the tragic death of Portuguese fighter, João Carvalho, on Monday night in Dublin.

Carvalho competed at MMA event TEF 1 on Saturday night at The National Stadium before he passed away approximately 48 hours later at Beaumont Hospital, and Peter Carroll speaks to the representatives of the international body exclusively for Newstalk.com.