Sunday Long Reads: The reality of rural broadband; Eurovision post-mortem; and how art redefines disabled bodies

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

This week's long reads takes a closer look at broadband in rural Ireland, Steve Duant tries his hand at being a critic of high art, and where did it all go wrong for Ireland in the Eurovision?

LGBT bullying is the "great unspoken" issue in Irish schools

Teachers and principals have been urged to take greater action to prevent homophobic bullying after a new survey showed young people want more attention to be focused on the treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

The second annual Student Attitudes Index from the Studyclix.ie website found that 39% of Irish secondary school students agree LGBT students need to be better protected in schools.

Declan Meehan of ShoutOut, a voluntary group that runs anti-bullying workshops in schools nationwide, said homophobic and transphobic abuse remains a problem despite changing attitudes to LGBT issues.

The Eurovision Post-Mortem: Why 'Sunlight' should have never seen the light of day

Time of death: 9:40pm local time on the stage of the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden. Cause of death: terminal blandness. Another year, another failure to get out of the semis and into the grande finale of television’s barmiest spectacle of questionable musical talent, the Eurovision Song Contest.

It’s a bitter pill to swallow, made all the worse by the hosts reminding all of the viewers that Ireland still holds the record for the most wins by any country, having racked up seven in the show’s 61-year history, four of those coming in a five-year spell of never-to-be-repeated 90s success.

"I have to climb into my tree-house to get Internet": The reality of rural broadband

We recently reported on the delay to the National Broadband Plan. The scheme, which was meant to be in place by 2020, may not be completed until 2022. Following this report, a school principle named Iseult Mangan sent in the following email:

"My own school, despite our poor broadband had three finalists and a winner in the eir junior spiders on Monday, we have a finalist going to the national scratch final. My own daughter has already spoken about how unfair it is for her doing her work and what she wants to do. She feels she has an unfair access to Internet as she grows up.”

Struck by Iseult’s passion for e-learning, I decided to head west and visit her school, which is located on the boarder between Mayo and Galway.

UNDAUNTED: From the Chippendales to the Renaissance, how art redefines disabled bodies

Naked disabled people; you don’t often see them. Back in the day I saw a group of friends pay homage to the Chippendales in a cabaret. Given that 'h' and 'r' are so easily confused, you can guess what they called themselves.

There was method in their madness. Their audience were other disabled people so there was some proselytising going on. Taking pride in our bodies will give us confidence. Expressing pride in ourselves and who we are can offer others the chance to gain confidence in themselves

Peter Caroll: With regulation coming, BAMMA 26 is a necessary sacrifice for Irish MMA's future

BAMMA 26 have postponed their June 4th event in the 3 Arena due to new regulations they are putting in place following the tragic death of Joao Carvalho after he contested an MMA bout at TEF 1 at The National Stadium in Dublin.

David Green, CEO of BAMMA, claimed that the event would take place on September 10 instead, as the promotion look to introduce mandatory brain scans for all of their competitors. As Carvalho’s death was brought about by brain trauma, such scans would stop any fighters competing that have any pre-existing issues before they took to the cage.