Terry Flanagan visits North County Dublin, to witness a very rare phenomenon: four stunning barn owls taking up semi-urban residence. We examine the growing trend of passive housing, a method of construction which can reduce energy consumption by up to 90%. And we hear how you can help track the health of our mammal population, by contributing to the development of a comprehensive Irish "mammal Atlas".
During the week, we received an e-mail from listener Tom Lynch, who said:
A recent publication titled National Birds of the World by Ron Toft (Bloomsbury publications) excludes Ireland - except to state in a little column at the back that Ireland does not have a National Bird, but that BWI suggested that the Wren might fit the bill.
So should we have a national bird? And what should that bird be? Olan debates the matter with Eanna ni Lamhna and Terry Flanagan...
We start the programme with a little music today: flautist Amy Gillen performing The Goldfinch, from Vivaldi's concerto, Il Gardellino. And Amy will be performing at the ESB 'Great' Christmas Concert, which will take place at the National Concert Hall next Wednesday, December 3rd. Choral masterpieces and carols will be performed by the Lassus Scholars, the Piccolo Lasso Children’s Choir and guest soloists under the baton of Ita O'Donovan.
The evening will conclude with a rousing rendition of Handel's 'Hallelujah Chorus' in which the audience is invited to participate, and tickets are available from the National Concert Hall.
A few years ago, Mooney Goes Wild broadcast a live programme from the first Passive House in Ireland, which was built in County Wicklow. It was built by architect Tomas O’Leary and he gave Eanna a tour of the house...
Recently Tomas got in touch with us again, and in an e-mail he wrote: "I feel moved to send you some thoughts I’ve been having on an issue of critical and national importance in Ireland."
It is related to the recent government announcement that it would be supplying 35,000 additional social housing units at a cost of €3.8 bn over the next six years, as we heard in the news this week.
So for an issue of critical and national importance, we have asked Tomas in today to tell us more about what is bothering him...
What is a Passive House?
The passive house is the highest energy efficiency building standard, super-insulated, totally draft-proof, triple glazed windows, and with a fresh air ventilation system. It is composed of several strict performance requirements for new building construction.
The resulting performance represents a roughly 90% reduction in heating and cooling energy usage and up to a 75% reduction in primary energy usage from existing building stock.
For more information, there will be lots of events coming soon at the Passive House Association of Ireland (www.phai.ie) and Passive House Academy.com, including a hands-on Passive House day on December 15th in Dublin.
Listeners to Mooney Goes Wild regularly send in their wildlife photographs to the programme here, and this week was no exception. In our "in-box" this week was a set of stunning photographs of barn owls taken by Brian Doyle and his son Mark.
A family of barn owls have taken up residence on a narrow road close to Brian’s house and every night Brian heads off in his car to spend some time observing and photographing them.
Intrigued by this, our reporter, Terry Flanagan and bird expert, Niall Hatch, met up with Brian earlier in the week to share the experience...
Liam Lysaght is Director of the Waterford-based National Biodiversity Data Centre, and he's just finished travelling the country to chart mammal diversity in Ireland. For the past four years, Liam has co-ordinated the Atlas of Mammals in Ireland project, and with one year remaining to collect data and sightings, the race is on for Liam to complete the jigsaw of our mammal population. But he's made some fascinating findings already, and he joins us from Waterford this afternoon to tell us about them...
For more information, visit www.mammals.biodiversityireland.ie.
We've €1,000 to give away today to save or spend as you please, take a break from your bills, or a make a break to the sun, it's up to you!
For your chance to win the cash, answer the following competition question:
Friday, November 28th 2014:
Complete the lyric from the song "Oh Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are..."
a) Leaking or
If you think you know the answer, call or text the competition line:
ROI: 1515 71 72 00
NI: 0901 293 3501
or text MOONEY followed by your answer and name to 57111 (ROI & NI)
Each text entry costs €1 (incl VAT) or GBP £1.00. Calls from the eircom network will cost €1.02 (incl VAT) and from a BT landline will cost GBP £1.02. Calls from other networks and from mobiles will cost more.
Please note, the person named in the entry must be aged 18 years or older as at date of entry.
Competition lines are now open and will close at 4.15pm today (28/11/14). Please do not enter outside of the advertised competition window as you will be charged for your entry, but your entry will not be included. From time to time, these open/close times may vary. Any change to the standard open/close times will be announced here and on the show. The cash prize winner will be announced on-air towards the end of the Mooney show each day.
For full terms and conditions, please click here.
Mooney is teaming up with Bank of Ireland Foreign Exchange to bring someone home for Christmas!
It's your chance to make this Christmas extra special by bringing home that loved one from abroad. Maybe it's a family member, maybe it's a friend - whoever it is we want to know about them, and you.
Bank of Ireland Foreign Exchange believe that behind every international payment there is something more personal.
How to enter:
Just tell us what it would mean to you to have your loved one home for Christmas. Tell us your story, a bit about yourself, and tell us who your special person is. Let us know where they are, and tell us about your connection to them, and how much it would mean to you to have them home for Christmas.
To enter and find out more about the competition, visit the Bank of Ireland Foreign Exchange website by going to www.bankofireland.com/home-for-christmas.
Make sure that you include contact numbers both for the person you would like to bring home, and for yourself.
The closing date for entries is Saturday, December 6th.
RTÉ Competition terms and conditions apply - for more on these, visit www.rte.ie/about/en/serving-our-audience/2012/0222/291673-competition-voting-terms-conditions.
This is competition is also subject to the specific terms and conditions available on www.bankofireland.com/fs/doc/wysiwyg/competition-rules-personal-social-media-campaign-5th-november-home-for-christmas.pdf.
Hedgerows: It is an offence to 'cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy hedgerows on uncultivated land during the nesting season from 1 March to 31 August, subject to certain exceptions'. For more information, click here.
To follow us on Twitter, use the handle @MooneyShow.
Please DO NOT send any live, dead or skeletal remains of any creature whatsoever to Mooney Goes Wild.
If you find an injured animal or bird, please contact the National Parks & Wildlife Service on 1890 20 20 21, or BirdWatch Ireland, on 01 281-9878, or visit www.irishwildlifematters.ie
Presenter: Derek Mooney