Mooney/ Mooney Goes Wild

    Monday-Friday, 3 - 4.30pm

    NestWatch 2014 - The Herring Gull
    The Herring Gull's nest is located on a roof at the RTÉ Campus. There are three eggs in the nest, and on Tuesday, June 3rd, two of those eggs hatched! Click here to watch

    Mooney, Friday July 25th 2014

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    Mooney

    Olan McGowan with his unique mix of conversation, information, advice and entertainment

    On Mooney Goes Wild today, with Olan McGowan

    Olan McGowan presents a special programme to mark the re-opening of the castle's world famous science and technology galleries. Lord Rosse, the 7th Earl of Rosse, tells us about some of the rare and exotic trees on the grounds, and we find out why for decades people have flocked to Birr to see the stars...

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    Re-Opening Of Birr Castle's Science Centre

    Mooney Goes Wild comes today from a lovely, bright location today, not the usual 'dark basement cave' that is the RTÉ Radio studios in Donnybrook. Today we are in sunny Birr, in County Offaly, broadcasting to you from a light-filled room, looking out into the courtyard of Birr Castle Gardens.

    The Castle, of course, is owned by Lord Rosse and his family and is famous for its Great Telescope or 'Leviathan", completed in 1845 - which was the world's largest telescope until 1917. It's on view to the public just a short distance from where we are right now.

    And the show is here today for the re-opening of Birr Castle's new Science Centre, Treehouse and Adventure Centre.

    The official launch took place just before we came on air. Lord Rosse himself kicked proceedings off - and our reporter Katriona McFadden was there for Mooney Goes Wild...

    Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Dr Patrick Prendergast speaking at the Opening of Rosse Solar Terrestrial Observatory at Birr Castle

    The Opening of Rosse Solar Terrestrial Observatory at Birr Castle. Lord Rosse was presented with a framed copy of the prestigious journal 'Nature Physics' in which published the TCD Astrophysics team had their research and image featured on the cover.

    (Pictured Left to Right) Arch Deacon Wayne Carney, Fr Tony Cahir, Provost Patrick Prendergast, Lady Rosse, Pietro Zucca, Joe McCauley, Diana Morosan, Sean Blake, Dr Eoin Carley, Professor Peter Gallagher and Lord Rosse

    Dr Peter Gallagher, Associate Professor of Physics at Trinity College Dublin speaking at the Opening of Rosse Solar Terrestrial Observatory at Birr Castle

    The Opening of Rosse Solar Terrestrial Observatory at Birr Castle

    The Opening of Rosse Solar Terrestrial Observatory at Birr Castle

    The Opening of Rosse Solar Terrestrial Observatory at Birr Castle

    To learn more about Birr Castle's Science Centre, Treehouse and Adventure Centre, visit www.birrcastle.com.

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    The Rosse Solar-Terrestrial Observatory

    The 2013 movie Gravity, starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as a medical engineer and astronaut trying to survive in space, is pure fiction, but like a lot of sci-fi movies, it is grounded in some reality. Modern life has become extraordinarily dependent on telecommunications, which in turn are dependent on the myriad of satellites orbiting the Earth 24 hours a day. 

    Apart from space debris,  another great threat to these communications satellites comes from the one entity that gives this entire planet life. Our sun.

    It might be 150,000,000 km away, but it is a raging ball of hot gas, and when solar storms erupt on its surface, they have the potential to play havoc with astronauts, communication and navigation systems here on Earth.

    So to keep all of us hooked up to Facebook, and all of our favourite social networking sites, 24 hours a day, it's important that we understand exactly how this interference can happen.

    The CALLISTO antenna at Trinity College Dublin's Rosse Solar-Terrestrial Observatory in Birr Castle Demesne 

    To that end, the School of Physics at Trinity College has just opened a new teaching and research facility in Birr, County Offaly. It's called the Rosse Solar-Terrestrial Observatory. And to tell us all about it, we're delighted that Dr Joseph Roche, Trinity College astrophysicist, has come down to the castle today to tell Olan, Richard and Eanna all about it!

    To find out more about the Observatory, visit www.rosseobservatory.ie.

    Dr. Joseph Roche is also on the short list to go to Mars! He was among 1,058 candidates chosen by organisers at the start of the year - around 200,000 people from around the world had volunteered for the project, and that number is now down to 705. For updates on the Mars One program, visit www.mars-one.com.

    Dr. Roche will also take part in the Festival of Curiosity in Dublin this weekend, and was part of the Curious Science opening night last night with Dara O'Briain at the Mansion House in Dublin. Special guests included National Geographic explorer, marine biologist and filmmaker Dr. Tierney Thys. For Festival of Curiosity information on tickets, times and venues, check www.festivalofcuriosity.ie.

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    Little Brosna Callows

    About twenty minutes out of Birr, there is a beautiful site owned by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. It's about 70 acres in size, located on the Little Brosna Callows, and it provides a variety of habitats from typical meadows to mixed woodland. 

    It is also a terrific location to observe some of the huge variety of wildlife in the area, particularly so since they have installed a wheelchair accessible bird hide for use by the general public.

    Yesterday afternoon, Olan McGowan drove out to see the Callows site, with Dr. Richard Collins. There, they met NPWS Wildlife Service Ranger Noel Bugler, who introduced them to some of the special features on the site...

    Features of interest at the Callows include:

    Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus)
    Wigeon (Anas penelope)
    Teal (Anas crecca)
    Pintail (Anas acuta)
    Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
    Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)
    Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
    Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)
    Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
    Greenland White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons flavirostris)

    Click here for more information about the Little Brosna Callows, and click here for the BirdWatch Ireland document on top Offaly sites for birdwatching, including location of the Little Brosna (Ashton's) Callows site.

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    Trees Of Birr Castle Demesne

    Yesterday, Lord Rosse, the 7th Earl of Rosse, took Terry Flanagan and Eanna ni Lamhna around the grounds of Birr Castle Demesne to look at famous trees planted within the grounds, and to chat about about a new Tree Council of Ireland project on the Birr Castle Demesne estate...

    Terry Flanagan, Lord Rosse and Eanna ni Lamhna

    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 mooney@rte.ie, with the subject line 'Singles Night Out'. And keep listening for further information!

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    NestWatch 2014: Herring Gulls

    Niall Hatch, Development Officer with BirdWatch Ireland, is in studio with an update on our Herring Gull nestcam, on the roof of the Stage Seven building in the grounds of RTÉ...

    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.

    IMPORTANT NOTICE

    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

     

    If you require a CD copy of this programme please e-mail tapes@rte.ie or click here for RTÉ Archives sales form. Transfer fees and terms and conditions apply.

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