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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 20 October, 2014

Top readers’ comments of the week

Here’s our round-up of the best, the most interesting the most commented-on pieces from the past week. Did you make it in?

Michelle Obama with her daughters Sasha and Malia in Trinity College Dublin earlier this week
Michelle Obama with her daughters Sasha and Malia in Trinity College Dublin earlier this week
Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire

EVERY SATURDAY MORNING we take a look at all the best comments left on the site by you lot over the past week.

This week there was a lot of talk about protests in Brazil, the untimely death of James Gandolfini, a Fine Gael TD saying he won’t vote for the abortion legislation, the visit of Michelle Obama to Dublin and Wicklow, and the pressing issue of the most annoying things you can say to a left-handed person.

So here, in no particular order, are the standout comments from the week that was.

The top 5 articles which received the most comments this week

1. Poll: Should we legalise cannabis? (369 comments)

2. Kenny targeted by 200 pro-life protesters in Longford (244 comments)

3. Poll: Should protesters demonstrate outside politicians’ homes? (235 comments)

4. Open thread: Who is your favourite Irish male vocalist? (227 comments)

5. Fine Gael TD says he won’t support abortion bill, and neither will nine others (218 comments)

Some of the best comments left on the site this week

(Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland)

This comment from Caoimhe McG on the article about the best and worst things about getting the train in Ireland is a masterclass in self-awareness. Bravo:

Four year old girl loudly and clumsily strumming/walloping her toy guitar and yelling OOOAARRRRRR IT’S AMBROSIA on the train, all the way to Galway from Dublin. If I wasn’t her mother I’d have complained to her mother.

We also liked this one from Brian Casey, which, as fellow commenter David Murphy pointed out, had a great twist ending:

Hate when people don’t lock the toilet doors and then they think you’re a perv for walking in and taking a few photos

If you’ve ever gotten a birthday card from a kid, you know they can be brutally honest and occasionally unexpected – as Geraldine O’Brien Wallace found out from her kid the other day:

After returning home from dropping my 7 yr old daughter to school the other day I found a note waiting for me on my bed from my little rogue….it said…’I love u so much mommy that I want to squeeze your heart out and eat it’ …. really cute or crazy…im not sure :)

Speaking of Irish parents: a study found Irish kids are pretty scabby with their Father’s Day gifts – something Gar74 empathised with:

As a broke student 12 years ago I gave my dad a card and a tea bag stuck to the inside. It read “have a drink on me” it’s gonna come back and haunt me with my own kids.

There are still 118 third-level students who haven’t received a decision on whether they’ll receive a grant – even though the college year is over. Glenn O’hAilpín is one of those stuck waiting:

I am one of the 118. I have finished my degree and can’t get my results at the moment because I am still waiting to get an answer from SUSI so that I can pay my fees.

At first, I was angry at the college but its not their fault that the new grant system is failing miserably. It means that I cannot apply for work until my fees are paid and I have my results- So I am left jobless with one solution- to sign on. In order to be able to sign on, a letter was needed from the college to say that I had finished in third level but I couldn’t get that because I had not paid fees.

I can’t complain about the Irish education system, I have qualified with a business degree (hopefully) and have only minor bills to pay. Most other countries don’t afford their citizens the same opportunities.

Still on education, a new ESRI study found that the children of parents who are depressed or unemployed are most likely to miss a lot of school. Joanne Joyce had this suggestion:

Sad thing is, these children would be.much better off in school. For education, support, positive role models, resilience, social learning (interactions, social cues, conflict resolution), exercise, and relationship skills.

Money needs to be invested into family support work. Early intervention is crucial to support families in crisis.

Paul o’Mahony completed a study in 1997 on the typical mountjoy prisoners and one finding was that most prisoners were early school leavers. If we do not tackle the problem early, then we will continue to see a rise in the prison population.

Many people left comments about how shocked they were by the death of James Gandolfini. Sarah Sue was one of many who commented on how he was the linchpin of The Sopranos:

So sad to hear of this he was without a doubt my favorite actor :-( Cant imagine anyone else being able to bring Tony Soprano to life the way he did. So many memorable episodes of Sopranos but one that sticks out for me is Christopher & Pauly stranded in the woods with the Russian they had tried to kill (probably because I absolutely love Pauly!) For me, there was only one poor episode – the final one! Deffo think I’ll dig out the box set tonight, but with a heavy heart :-( RIP James.

The 5 most popular comments on the site this week

(Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)

1. First up this week is Gary Power, who got 1,150 thumbs up for his comment beneath the article on Clare Daly criticising the ‘slobbering’ and ‘glowing’ coverage of the Obama family’s visit to Ireland this week:

Tax exile bono .. What about tax cheat Wallace ehh Clare

2. In second place was Dar Ryl who got 993 thumbs up  for this comment on an article about an arrest in connection with a sexual assault. (The comment was made before the man was released without charge later in the week).

Good!! No suspended sentences please if this man its found guilty

3. Síle Seoige’s show was axed from Newstalk this week – and Leslie Alan Rock got 990 thumbs up from readers for his thoughts on it:

If there is a god and your listening. .tubridy next tubridy next

4. In fourth place was this comment from Alan Barber on an article about how two little girls died during a wave of child rapes in the Democratic Republic of Congo:

This is the sickest article i have read for a long time

5. Last but not least was this rather excellent comeback from Triona which received 854 thumbs up. The context: The article was about some of the toughest questions you’ll ever be asked (“Would you rather know when you will die or how you will die?”) and someone had just commented “Pointless article.” Over to Triona:

Would you rather have a pointless article or a pointless comment?

Spot any comments which you think deserve a spot in comments of the week? Let us know: mail christine@thejournal.ie with any suggestions.

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