For almost two years, the sight of groups of women in high heels with L-plates and sashes and poorly-dressed men with apparent walking difficulties was missing from the streets and hostelries of party towns like Galway and Kilkenny. But now, as Claire Byrne heard on Tuesday, they're back. And the – possibly – surprising news is that hen parties are more trouble than stag parties. At least that's according to Anthony Morrison, owner of Christy’s Bar in Kilkenny:

"The hens are more difficult. You have an expectation and you have a reality. The expectation never matches reality with the hens and as for the lads, they just want a place where they can play pool, drink beer and watch sports. They don’t look for a whole lot. Now look, when I say they’re harder work, they want more bells and whistles, I suppose, and you just have to kind of massage them a small bit more. Look, it’s easy enough to do it, it's just make them feel important, I suppose, that’s the key."

2fm’s own Aifric O’Connell has been at her fair share of hen nights – including one in Kilkenny that started off sedately enough, but gathered pace as it went on. She told Claire that she’s not a huge fan of "organised fun". And she’s not sure if her two-day hen party in Kilkenny involved Anthony and his bar or not:

"I don’t know if I’ve ever crossed paths with Anthony. I can only apologise to him if I have on the hen."

On that hen in Kilkenny, Aifric and her co-hens had a treasure hunt in the morning, something that involved walking around the city in heels for most of the morning. Then it was drinks, dinner and a nightclub. But that was the second night of the hen:

"So the previous night though, we kind of stayed in the apartment and did stuff like that and I think that’s more common now. You do the kind of, maybe it’s the day one first, where it’s all a little bit more mellow."

Colour Claire surprised at the notion of staying in for the entire first night of the hen. And it does seem a little... unusual to travel to another city for two nights and spend one of them in an apartment that could be anywhere. But as Aifric puts it, the quiet first night eases you in for the less quiet second day.

Comedian Danny O’Brien has the kind of job that involves him putting up with some challenging behaviours at the best of times, but when the stags and hens come to town, that can take things up another level. And Danny also agrees with Anthony that the hens are more of a handful than the stags:

"The stags do tend to be – they’re a simpler bunch, much easier to manage. But when the hens go off, they go off. You try to tell 30 Irish women in a hen to stop talking during a show – that's the hardest thing you can do as a comic because if you lose them, they’re going to make the rest of your night extremely difficult."

Most the time, Danny says – and Anthony concurs – the stags and hens are fine and good fun. It’s only the rare time that some groups will behave poorly – like taking toilet seats as souvenirs – and you can’t blame the many for the bad behaviour of the few. Anthony forgives them and so should we. Let’s be careful out there!

You can hear Claire’s full conversation with Aifric, Anthony and Danny by going here.