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Wednesday 29 March 2023 Dublin: 12°C
Roses on a grave via Shutterstock
# up to speed
Catch-up Wednesday: 3 midweek longreads
Get up to speed with the latest news, opinions and insights with our hand-picked indepth reads.

IT’S MIDWAY THROUGH the week and you want to get up to speed on the latest news topics and catch up on opinions and insights.

We’re here to help you do just that, with our three midweek longreads:

1. Woman in charge

What is it like to be the only woman in your platoon of soldiers on the Afghan front line? Capt Ashley Collette is in the Canadian armed forces, and says that she has been told that at first her men were wary of her – but now they would follow her anywhere.

BBC, approximately 7 minutes reading time – 1450 words

Now they are mixed in together, and sleep in the same dorm. This does present some logistical challenges, but Collette took pains to be modest. While the men slept in boxer shorts, she would wear pyjamas. While training in Canada, she would climb into a cupboard to change, or pull her sleeping bag around her and change underneath.

2. Final resting place

Alabama man James Davis wanted to grant his wife her last wish by laying her to rest in the front yard of their home. But as Campbell Robertson writes, it proved far more difficult to do this than he had imagined – but he doesn’t give up easily.

New York Times, approximately 6 minutes reading time – 1253 words

They’re waiting on me to die,” he said early last week, standing on the porch of the log house he built and looking out over his lawn, which along with the grave features an outhouse and a large sign demanding that his wife be allowed to rest in peace. “I am not digging her up.”

3. Children and care

If you have ever wondered how the Irish care system works – why are children taken into care, and why does the State intervene in family situations? Then this piece by Carol Coulter – who is undertaking a project on child care cases in Irish courts – should answer your questions.

Opinion and Insight, approximately 4 minutes reading time – 885 words

The court may make an Interim Care Order or a Care Order if a child has been or is being assaulted, ill-treated, neglected or sexually abused, or whose health, development or welfare has been or is likely to be impaired or neglected, and where this will continue if a Care Order is not granted. The majority of cases reported by the CCLRP concern neglect, often arising from alcohol or drug addiction or mental illness.

Want some more longreads? Then check out Sitdown Sunday>