Mooney/ Mooney Goes Wild

    Monday-Friday, 3 - 4.30pm

    Mooney, Tuesday September 23rd 2014


    On Mooney today, with Shay Byrne...

    The RTÉ Concert Orchestra prepares for another round of Essential Classics concerts. We find out about the ever-changing expectations of buying presents for children's birthdays. And a Dublin choir gets an invitation they can't refuse!


    Children's Birthday Parties

    That's a song that children and parents alike will recognise from birthday parties in back gardens all over the country... Or if you’ve ever marked a birthday by bringing the kids for a fast-food outing you might recognise this: 

    Of course after eating a load of fast food, songs like this can help the little ones shake off the calories... 

    We all love the attention we receive on our birthdays and children are no different – but do children really notice how many presents they are given, or are they just happy to have a fun-filled day with their friends and family?

    Jillian Bolger is a magazine editor and columnist with The Herald - but more importantly, she's a mother of three young children (8, 5 and 4), and so is better placed than most to tell us what the expectations are of parents when it comes to hosting and attending kids' birthday parties! She joins Shay in studio this afternoon to explain how to make your children's parties high-fun but low-cost!

    Other low-cost ideas that can be given instead of expensive toys:

    - Books are an affordable idea for kids who love reading, although it can be tricky to think of a book that kids over the age of seven will like
    - Drawing a picture for a friend is something that younger kids really appreciate
    - OXFAM Ireland’s Pass the Present! With Pass the Present you can ask a few guests to make a donation to Oxfam instead of buying your child a present. A special pack is available to give to your guests explaining the scheme to them. All other guests can still buy a gift so your child still gets plenty of presents. After their birthday, Oxfam Ireland will send the child an extra special birthday treat – a lovely Puzzle Pack which includes a thank you certificate and fun activities.


    RTÉ Concert Orchestra's Essential Classics

    Even if you're not particularly a classical music fan you might recognise Berlioz’s Hungarian March, just one of the many pieces that will feature in the RTÉ Concert Orchestra's Essential Classics series. The RTÉCO will perform two evenings of well known favourites in the National Concert Hall in Dublin on Thursday and at the Clifden Arts Festival on Friday.

    Both evening’s will be under the baton of John Wilson and will feature RTÉ Concert Orchestra leader Mia Cooper as soloist, and Mia joins us in studio this afternoon to tell us all about the concerts!

    For more information about the NCH concert this Thursday, click here, and for more information about the performance at the Clifden Arts Festival, click here.


    Should Insects Be Part Of Our Diet?

    We regularly see celebrities eating insects of all shapes and sizes on our TV screens in I'm A Celebrity - Get Me Out Of Here! - but Bushtucker Trials aside, could creepie crawlies ever become part of our normal diet?

    The eating of insects is known as entomophagy, and previously on the show we’ve discussed how eating insects is fairly commonplace in Asian and African countries - but could it ever take off in Ireland?

    The pest control experts Rentokil are going to have a 'Pop-Up Pestaurant' at the National Ploughing Championships this week, where you can sample some such edible insect offerings as Salted Weaver Ants, BBQ Mole Crickets and Chocolate-dipped Worms. To find out more about the appeal of insects as a source of nutrition and whether members of the public would be so keen, we sent Eanna Ní Lamhna to meet Rentokil’s Technical Manager Dr Colm Moore...

    To find out more about the pop-up bug restaurant at the Ploughing Championships, click here.


    Ballymun Choir To Sing For Kofi Annan


    The 2011 documentary Ballymun Lullaby got great press at the time; it followed the progress of DIT Music teacher Ron Cooney, who set up the Ballymun Music Program and produced a collection of music for 'The Ballymun Choir', an amalgam of school choirs from the Ballymun area.

    The most famous of their songs was probably the Ballymun Lullaby and, it seems, it is to get another airing next month in front of some rather famous faces.

    Mooney reporter Katriona McFadden has been finding out more...

    Next month, the 'One Young World Summit' conference comes to Dublin, from October 15th to 18th. Ireland will host 1300 delegates from all over the world, all aged between 18 and 30, who either are young leaders in their field or have been earmarked to be young leaders. 

    There will be a big opening ceremony on the first night, and The Ballymun Choir have been invited to sing for the delegates and Kofi Annan and Bob Geldof and Mary Robinson - and they are very excited!

    All of the seven choirs that make up the Ballymun Choir are rehearsing separately this week before they come together for a huge rehearsal of over 100 children – and Katriona visited the choir of St Joseph's Senior National School in Ballymun this morning...

    To find out more about the Ballymun Lullaby, click here, and to find out more about Ballymun Lullaby - The Film, click here.

    Singles Night Out!

    We are organising a singles night out for our listeners who are over 35! The where and when is still being finalised, but if you are interested in joining in the fun, then send us an e-mail! Let us know your age, gender, and if you are single. You must be available to travel to the venue at your own expense. Please send your e-mail to, with the subject line 'Singles Night Out'. And keep listening for further information!

    Search For A Child Star Finalists

    Earlier this year, we launched our competition to find Ireland's newest child star. The competition was open to boys and girls who were aged 10 years old or under. We asked you to record a piece that was no more than three minutes long, and e-mail it in to us.

    The finalists, in no particular order, are:

    - Hannah Kinsella (9 years old, from Lucan, Co. Dublin) with Pushover
    - Nikki Brown (8 years old, from Saggart, Co. Dublin) with Colours Of The Wind
    - Anna Lily Fox (6 years old, from Ballinalee, Co. Longford) with a Johnny Cash medley
    - Laoise Farrell (9 years old, from Ogonnolloe. Co. Clare) with The Call
    - Alannah Bermingham (10 years old, from Kilmacud, Dublin) with Colours Of The Wind

    The date for the final will be announced shortly and the winner will perform at our Christmas Mooney Tunes concert.

    Hedgerows and the Law

    Hedgerows in Ireland form important features in maintaining wildlife diversity and in establishing wildlife "corridors", particularly for birds. The commonest nesting birds found in hedgerows such as wrens, dunnocks, robin and willow warblers depend entirely on insects during the Summer months. In general untrimmed, thorned hedgerows containing species such as blackthorn, whitethorn and holly are favoured by birds as they provide ample food and also serve as a protection against predators.

    Section 40 of the Wildlife Act, 1976, as amended by Section 46 of the 2000 Act, provides protection for hedgerows by providing that it shall be an offence for a person 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. It is important that, where possible, necessary work to hedgerows is carried out outside this period.

    It is possible in most cases to schedule and carry out necessary work to hedgerows outside this period. The legislation makes provision for works (other than road or other construction works) to be carried out for reasons of public health and safety under the authority of any Minister or a body established by statute that lead to the destruction of vegetation. There is also a provision to enable the Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government to request from the relevant Minister or body details of any such works together with a statement of the public health and safety factors involved.

    It shall not be an offence to destroy vegetation in the ordinary course of agriculture or forestry. Also it shall not be illegal to destroy vegetation while preparing or clearing a site for lawful building or construction works.

    It is the policy of the Minister to prosecute for offences under section 40 of the Wildlife Acts 1976 and 2000 and successful prosecutions have been taken under this section in recent years. Members of the public are encouraged to contact their local wildlife ranger and report instances where hedgerows are being destroyed during the prohibited period.

    To contact your local wildlife ranger, click here for contact details. To read the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000, 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


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