Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Saturday 23 September 2023 Dublin: 6°C

# Explainer

Last year
Explainer: What counts as EU funding and where does it go?
…And where has Ireland received – and given back to the whole process?
From candidate to Council: the long road ahead of Ukraine in the EU
Vote to make Ukraine an official candidate for the EU hailed as “defining moment” – but the journey has just begun.
The US Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade: Here's what the impact will be
Concerns about Roe v. Wade were first raised after a draft Supreme Court opinion was leaked.
The European Parliament has the second largest electorate in the world. How does it actually work?
Historically, the Parliament lacked legislative power – but the Lisbon Treaty aimed to fix that.
The Explainer: Why have homeless figures risen in Ireland?
We speak to Mike Allen from Focus Ireland to find out more.
Explainer: Would Ireland be required to have a referendum before joining Nato?
The Taoiseach has said a referendum wouldn’t be required – constitutional law experts disagree.
Explainer: What are the laws in Texas around buying and using semi-automatic weapons?
The shooting at Uvalde has once again raised the question of gun control in the US.
A new Covid variant of concern has been detected in Ireland - what do we know about it?
BA.4 and BA.5 were identified by the ECDC as variants of concern earlier this month.
What is monkeypox and why are cases spreading in the UK and Europe?
The virus usually spreads only in Central and West Africa.
Explainer: Where 'clinically appropriate' stands as Government green lights NMH deal
The term has been defined in the government’s decision but not the legal documents of the agreement.
The Explainer: What does the election result mean for the future of Northern Ireland?
Listen in to be brought up to speed about the weekend’s seismic election result.
Explainer: What we know about the recent spate of acute hepatitis in children
There have been six probable cases of the illness in Ireland, and one child has sadly died.
The Explainer: In the age of disinformation and misinformation, how does factchecking work?
The Good Information Project has been looking at the fight against misinfo and disinfo, and this week on the podcast we’re taking a look at how factchecking and how it works.
What’s going on with the ownership of the new National Maternity Hospital and why are people unhappy?
The long-running controversy is back in the headlines this week.
Roe v Wade: What you need to know about the 1973 case that enshrined US abortion rights
Jane Roe – a pseudonym for Norma McCorvey – sued the Dallas Attorney General, Henry Wade.
The Explainer: What is the situation like for people fleeing Ukraine now?
Listen to hear what reporter Céimin Burke saw while reporting from the Polish-Ukrainian border last week.
Russia-Ukraine war spilling into Moldova would have 'far-reaching implications for EU and NATO'
There has been a series of explosions in recent days and a Russian commander claimed Russian speakers in Moldova are being oppressed.
The Explainer: How are war crimes investigated and prosecuted?
Listen to expert Professor Ray Murphy of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway explain.
Explainer: How could it be determined that Russia used chemical weapons in Ukraine?
There are unconfirmed reports that chemical weapons were used in the city of Mariupol.
The Explainer: What does the census do?
Listen in to hear how the census works, and why it’s important.
The government's launched a plan to auto-enrol workers for pensions - here's how it will work
The auto-enrolment pension scheme is set to come into effect in early 2024.
Explainer: What changes are being made to the Leaving Certificate?
Major reforms to the Leaving Cert are to be brought in beginning in 2023.
The world of the mega-rich oligarchs and how it's being exploded by Putin
Their assets are being seized but how did they come to be in the first place?
Roman Abramovich sanctioned: What does it mean for Chelsea?
The sale of the club is now in serious doubt, and while they can continue to play games, they cannot sell match tickets.
Why did the US reject Poland's offer of Soviet-era fighter jets?
Security analyst Dr Tom Clonan said the West giving Ukraine fighter jets is much more “provocative” than anti-tank missiles.
The Explainer: What is NATO and what's Ireland's involvement in it?
Listen to hear Andrew Cottey from UCC to explain more.
The Explainer x Noteworthy: How is inadequate care impacting people with eating disorders?
Noteworthy’s Maria Delaney tells Susan Daly about the chaotic state of services through people’s experiences.
What are war crimes - and could Putin face trial for Russia's invasion of Ukraine?
An Irish expert believes Putin has committed war crimes but says it will be down to international investigators to make the case.
Explainer: Why has Ireland not yet expelled its Russian ambassador?
There have been widespread calls to boot out diplomats, but keeping them in place is part of an EU wide approach.
Explainer: How two big new EU laws will try to rein in Big Tech
It doesn’t sound like the kind of thing to get pulses racing – but two new laws will change a lot about our digital lives.
Here are the main points to know as Russian forces continue their assault on Ukraine
Explosions have been heard in Kyiv this morning.
Asset freezes have been placed on both Putin and Lavrov.
More than 130 people died in Ukraine in the first day of Russia's invasion.
There have been over 18,000 assault rifles issued to Ukrainian volunteers.
Russian invasion of Ukraine: Here are the main points to know
Russian troops have captured the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant this evening after a battle with Ukraine’s defence.
Russian troops have captured the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant this evening after a battle with Ukraine's defence
Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs is urging Irish citizens in Ukraine to shelter in place or leave the country if they can safely
US President Joe Biden has announced further sanctions against Russia.
The Explainer: Why did Vladimir Putin invade Ukraine?
In the early hours of the morning, Ukraine was invaded by Russia. Listen to our latest episode to hear about why.
What does Russia's recognition of two eastern Ukrainian territories mean?
Vladimir Putin this evening recognised the independence of the two regions.
Explainer: Was the USC meant to be a temporary measure?
Some politicians’ stances on the tax have changed over the years.
The Explainer: What’s driving the rising prices in Ireland?
Listen in to hear what it has to do with inflation – and what inflation is – on this week’s podcast.
Why have petrol and diesel prices increased so much recently?
With pump prices spiking dramatically and oil climbing towards $100 a barrel, the government’s car fuel tax take is facing criticism.
'An economic implosion': Afghanistan's hunger crisis explained
Some 55% of the Afghan population is now suffering from hunger, according to the United Nations.
What happens to Stormont now that Paul Givan has resigned as First Minister?
The resignation comes amid a festering row over the Northern Ireland Protocol and with elections looming.
Opinion: Putin's obsession with making Russia great again is driving his approach to Ukraine
Journalist Hannah McCarthy explains the thinking of Russian President Vladimir Putin as his military builds along the border with Ukraine.