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Thursday, July 19th 2012

We hear from a financial adviser who helps people in debt negotiate with the banks, Dermot O’Neill has advice on insect eating plants and the hotel in Finland which has made life easier for visually impaired guests!

Win €1000 with Mooney's Money!

Today, you can win €1000 - just answer a simple question by phone or text for your chance to win. Click here to find out today's question...

Mooney Tunes Is Coming Back!

One of the biggest nights of the Mooney calendar is fast approaching! It's the night of Saturday, September 15th, about 10 weeks from now. And it is, of course, the next instalment of our highly successful series of Mooney Tunes concerts. Well, we'll give you plenty of notice of when the tickets go on sale. But first, there is the rather important job of selecting pieces of music for the night! And for that, we want YOU to join in! Click here to find out how...

Mooney On Tour In Drogheda Next Week!

Next Wednesday, July 25th, Mooney will be taking to the road again next week for the latest Mooney On Tour in association with Flora pro.activ, when we'll be broadcasting LIVE from The Droichead Arts Centre in Drogheda. Among our special guests will be the most irreverent of female singing groups – the fabulous Nualas! To find out how you can get your FREE tickets to the event, click here!

The Island Landscape

RTÉ Television, in association with Mooney, is currently producing a major new documentary series on the history of the Irish landscape. The series will tell the story of how our landscape was created after the last major climatic event – the end of the last Ice Age, over ten thousand years ago.  And we want your help! Would you like to contribute video towards the TV series? Click here to find out what we're looking for!

Working With Banks Through Financial Difficulties

Last week on the show, we had an exceptionally powerful interview with two very brave and very unfortunate people, Dan and Susan Finnerty. Dan and Susan had tried to save their Wexford hotel, which had been repossessed by their bank and sent to auction. They went to the auction and, as their hotel came up, they stood up and appealed to the people in the room not to place any bids, as they were desperately trying to work things out.

As it happens, their hotel was sold. And needless to say, it was a devastating experience for Dan and Susan. They came into the Mooney studio last week to give us their side of the story.

We had an incredible response to that interview - overwhelmingly sympathetic to Dan and Susan Finnerty, but some texts and e-mails pointed out that this is just the way business works.

Paul Carroll
Paul Carroll

We also had an email from Paul Carroll, a financial adviser, and Chief Executive of NEO Financial Solutions. Paul had an interesting take on the whole episode. He said that our interview with Dan and Susan Finnerty, where they were quite critical of the lack of understanding from their bank, was actually something the bank would have welcomed! We were intrigued at this suggestion. So we've invited Paul into studio today explain exactly what he means! For more, you can visit Paul's website: http://neofinancialsolutions.com. And for more financial advice, visit the MABS [Money Advice & Budgeting Service] website or call 0761 07 2000.

Hotel For The Blind

You might remember a couple of weeks ago we featured Brian Cannon on the show, he’s a deaf man who sells alerts and alarms to the deaf and blind. He got the inspiration to start his company, SilentAlert.ie, after he was the only one to NOT evacuate during a fire in the hotel he was staying in. He, of course, couldn’t hear the fire alarm. Well we asked Tina Lowe, who is blind and deaf to test out some of Brian’s gadgets – and after the interview was over we got a great reaction to it, including an e-mail from Mark Talbot in Bray. And when we rang Mark back we thought he was such an interesting guy we just had to invite him in... Mark has recently returned from Finland, where he stayed at the Scandic Hotel in Helsinki. The Scandic hotel chain has a Disability Ambassador, and all the hotels are designed with facilities for those who are visually or mobility-impaired. To read more about their Accessibility Policy, click here.

Rooftop Garden At Tallaght Hospital: Mosaic Volunteers Needed!

As you may be aware architect Dermot Bannon is creating a special rooftop garden for the Children’s Hospital in Tallaght, which will be opening soon. One of the big features there is going to be a special mosaic being made by children and adults from Tallaght. But they need help in order to get it finished in time - they have been working around the clock but they urgently need more hands. So, we are looking for three people (teenagers or adults) who are available to go to a studio on the Belgard Road in Tallaght, next week - Monday to Thursday, from 3pm to 6pm wher the mosaic is being built. It needs to be the same 3 people every day, as they will be trained to make the mosaic. No experience is necessary and it's for the Children's Hospital. You can get in touch by e-mailing info@cocotelevision.ie or phoning Cathy on 085 117-4848.

Gardening: Insect-Eating Plants

Your average garden carnivore is not the fella burning sausages on the barbeque but in fact a hungry little plant that will happily feast on their fill of flies, ants and other unsuspecting insects! Mooney gardener Dermot O’Neill is in studio today to talk about insect-eating plants...

Dermot, we’ve talked before about natural pest control solutions, but this one is particularly satisfying because in reducing the number of insects you’re feeding a fascinating plant! How have these plants evolved into such hungry little carnivores?

  • They have developed this way to adapt to life in low-nutrient soil (usually very boggy soil.)
  • It’s the absence of nitrogen in particular that plants need, and without that they had to find another food source.
  • While they couldn’t act as a pest-control solution on their own, they go some way to catching a couple of insects here and there.

What clever methods have they got for catching their prey?

  • The plants trap various insects from ants to flies (and some larger plants can even catch a wasp)
  • When the insect has been caught the plant then secretes enzymes that digest the soft part of the insect – the part that contains the nutrients required
  • A small insect would die in hours, while larger insects could take days.
  • Some “traps” used include...
    • Flypaper traps – the insects stick to the leaf (for example: sundews, which cover themselves in sticky residue which the insect sticks to)
    • Snap traps – the insect triggers a ‘snap’ reaction when it touches the ‘hair’ (for example: the Venus flytrap, which has a pad-shaped leaf with hairs on it)

Where would you find them growing naturally?

  • In Ireland they’re found in boggy soil and we do have a few native species.
    • Butterwort (Pinguicula)
    • Sundew (Drosera capensis)
    You should never collect them from the wild because many are quite rare and protected

Can they be kept indoors?

  • Monkey Cups Tropical Pitcher plant – Nepenthes can be grown indoors.
  • These are tropical so they should ideally be placed somewhere that won’t get frost.
  • They’re very impressive to look at. They grow from hanging baskets with a pendulous trumpet-like cup.
  • Sarracenia are also suitable for indoors and they’re not very difficult to keep. The secret is keeping them moist.

What level of care do they need?

  • As they don’t require a lot of feeding they’re quite hardy and can be grown outdoors.
  • Maybe use some horticultural fleece in winter to protect them.
  • They can get a bit shabby looking as a result but they’ll have new growth in spring.
  • Indoors: consider where you’re going to place them. Leave them on a window ledge in a bright spot but out of direct sunlight. You don’t want them to dry out. Open window to give them a food source and leave them to it.
  • All of these plants must be kept moist. Avoid using tap water because in many cases the extra chemicals added can damage the plant.
  • Rain water is best – and you can collect that outdoors to use.
  • Many garden centers are now selling barrels to collect rainwater with the impending water restrictions coming down the line.
  • If the plant grows too big it may need to be re-potted. Make
    sure you choose nutrient free compost.
  • You won’t need to tend to them much, remove dead leaves as they appear to keep them free from disease.
  • If anything you should leave them alone as much as possible.
  • ampering with them can shorten their life span.
  • Children are fascinated by Venus Flytraps and tend to close them by touching the hairs. This can only be done so many times, so ideally if a child can leave them alone that would be best.

Some of the main insect-eating plants are listed below - they are all available from the Johnstown Garden Centre in Naas (www.johnstowngardencentre.ie)

Butterwort pinguicula
Butterwort pinguicula

Drosera Capensis Cape Sundew
Drosera Capensis Cape Sundew

Dracula Pitcher Plant Sarracenia
Dracula Pitcher Plant Sarracenia

White Pitcher Plant Sarracenia Leucophylla
White Pitcher Plant Sarracenia Leucophylla

Sarracenia Jedi Pitcher Plant
Sarracenia Jedi Pitcher Plant

Sarracenia Pinky Pitcher Plant
Sarracenia Pinky Pitcher Plant

Scarlet Belle Pitcher Plant Sarracenia X Wrigleyana
Scarlet Belle Pitcher Plant Sarracenia X Wrigleyana

Yellow Pitcher Plant Sarracenia Flava

Sarracenia Cowboy
Sarracenia Cowboy

Venus Fly Trap
Venus Fly Trap

Red Venus Fly Trap
Red Venus Fly Trap

Sarracenia Purpurea
Sarracenia Purpurea

Nepenthes Alata Monkey Cups Pitcher Plant
Nepenthes Alata Monkey Cups Pitcher Plant

Today's Podcasts

Working With Banks Through Financial Difficulties
Hotel For The Blind
Tallaght Hospital Roof Garden Needs Volunteers To Make Mosaic
Gardening: Insect-Eating Plants

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