Sunday Long Reads: What next for water charges and should insurers shoulder the rising cost of claims?

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

After the streets were full of protesters on Saturday, this week's Long Reads includes a look at where we stand on water charges now, and what's next for the controversial measure. 

There's also a chat with Irish Olympian Fiona Doyle, who stands by her comments on doping in sport and the only way to tackle those who cheat to gain an advantage.

Sticking with the Olympics, former Irish boxing coach Billy Walsh sheds light on what went wrong for the Irish fighters in Rio. 

Elsewhere, there's a retrospective on the movie Drive as it celebrates its fifth birthday, and we ask should motor insurers be the ones who shoulder the cost of rising insurance premiums.

Water charges: Where do we stand now?

Water charges have become one of the major political issues of our time, and arguably significantly influenced the outcome of the general election earlier this year.

The suspension of charges earlier in 2016 marked a temporary victory for those who opposed them - but there is no question the subject remains a major source of controversy, and has continued to provoke debate and headlines ever since.

So, where exactly are we at now in relation to Irish Water and water charges - and what could happen next?

Billy Walsh: Michael Conlan's bid for gold in Rio was "hijacked"

Ireland's boxers had a tough time at the Olympics in Rio 2016, and when they turned to their corner for help, the familiar face of Billy Walsh was nowhere to be seen. 

The Wexford man had lead Ireland's High Performance Unit and their boxing team to incredible success, with Katie Taylor, Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes all flourishing under his guidance. 

Along with the rest of the team, they were looking forward to once again proving their position as the most successful of Ireland's Olympics contingent, but it wasn't to be. 

Five years later, how "Drive" made style over substance work in its favour

Nothing highlights just how quickly time passes like a retrospective, but for some reason, that doesn't apply to Drive.

Released on September 16th 2011, the stylish Ryan Gosling vehicle already feels much older than that, like someone accidentally uncovered a '70s noir classic and decided to re-release it. However, the project started off as something else entirely.

Should motor insurers take the blame for crazy premium costs?

So who’s the blame for those exorbitant motor insurance premiums that only ever seem to be accelerating in one direction and are crippling Irish drivers as it is?

After a summer of discontent and confusion from industry bodies, political heads and those behind the wheel – a season in which the only word Transport Minister Shane Ross had for the rise was “inexplicable" – the official spotlight is now, finally, on the industry.

Fiona Doyle: Blanket bans necessary to tackle doping

Approaching the turn in the 100m breaststroke heat, Fiona Doyle must have known she had put herself into contention for a place in the semi-final.

She sat in fourth position after some strong early swimming and prepared for one final push that would see her empty the tank for a chance to progress. Of those competing in the heats, only the top 16 would progress.

Over the final 50m, Yulia Efimova pulled clear of the field and the Russian powered home to book her place in the semi-final. Doyle's effort was not enough and she finished 20th overall from the heats, 0.26 seconds outside a top 16 finish.

From Baldoyle to the big time: Becky Lynch on life in the WWE

She is one of the most famous Irish female athletes in the world, but remains relatively unknown in Ireland.

Dublin’s WWE Superstar Becky Lynch won the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship last Sunday at the Backlash event in Virginia. She became the inaugural champion, after the title was introduced following the 2016 WWE Draft.

“It still doesn’t feel real,” Lynch told Newstalk Sport on Tuesday, ahead of the SmackDown Live event in Philadelphia. Tuesday’s event was her first on television since becoming champion, but despite winning the title almost 48 hours earlier, the 29-year-old admitted it took some time to get used to.