Sunday Long Reads: Mountaineer climbs high after quadruple amputation; Does the the Dáil need a dress code?

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

At the end of a busy news week, today's Long Reads are varied, from the latest fertility technology to the matter of style in the Dáil.

Be inspired by  mountaineer who had a double amputation and went on to conquer one of Switzerland's highest mountains as he tells Pat Kenny about his experiences, and see for yourself if you're being caught out on bank charges.

Does the Dáil need a dress code?

It may be a relatively trivial matter in the general scheme of things, but the attire of politicians has frequently proven to be a contentious issue.

The latest report and debate comes after some politicians' clothing choices managed to generate media headlines.

In September, for example, the six Solidarity (then Anti Austerity Alliance) - People Before Profit TDs wore 'Repeal' t-shirts to show their support for repealing the 8th Amendment.

But what are the benefits for politicians paying extra attention to their appearance?

Mountaineer climbs Matterhorn after quadruple amputation

In the winter of 1999, Jamie Andrew was rescued from a mountain in the French Alps with severe frostbite.

He then fell into a coma and the doctors performed a quadruple amputation - meaning he had no hands and feet, but that did not stop the British mountaineer, who went on to climb the Matterhorn last year - whose summit is 4,478 metres.

Andrew told the Pat Kenny Show here on Newstalk there is risk associated with everything, but that "it's all about making the most of what you have - and I've always been a great advocate of rather than allowing myself to feel sorry for myself, to feel happy for what I do have".

Researchers develop smartphone accessory to test sperm viability

More than 45 million couples around the world will struggle with infertility. While some of the procedures to address issues can be incredibly expensive, investigators at the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital set out to develop home-based diagnostic tests.

The test they have developed can measure the quality of semen with a smartphone accessory.

The team’s findings show the device can identify ‘abnormal’ semen samples based upon the sperm concentration and mobility, with 98% accuracy.

How much are you paying out on banking fees?

Love them or loathe them, the banks play an important role in our lives. When was the last time you read through an entire statement to work out how much you are paying out in fees?

It can be a tedious task, so here's a brief rundown on the charges associated with day-to-day banking.

Newstalk takes a look at each bank's charges for contactless payment, ATM fees, maintenance fees, and what you need to do to avoid them.