Monday, January 28th 2013

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Caring For Wild Animals

Please note that many species of mammals, birds, invertebrates etc... are protected under law and that, even with the best of intentions, only someone holding a relevant licence from the National Parks & Wildlife Service should attempt the care of these animals.  For full details, please click here to read the NPWS Checklist of protected & rare species in Ireland.  If you are concerned about a wild animal, please contact your local wildlife ranger - click here for details.

Events & Listings

Click here for a full list of events taking place around the country, and movies currently on release, which might be of interest to wildlife lovers!



Derek Mooney with his unique mix of conversation, information, advice and entertainment

Coming up today...

Coming up today...

Can five days of exercise with a Hula Hoop really take two inches off your waist? We test the theory with physiotherapist Jenny Brannigan. Derek talks to the 15-year-old who is known simply as “girl” on her passport because her name isn’t recognised by the Icelandic state. And Brenda Donohue hitches a ride with a bus load of culture vultures on a day out from Dunlavin...

Can Hula-Hooping For 5 Days Take 2 Inches Off Your Waist?

What was your New Year’s Resolution this year? Maybe it was to quit smoking, eat more healthily, or try and lose a bit of weight… For many people, January is the month in which they try to kick-start a new health regime, but if you were hoping to try and tone up by walking, running, or cycling , the weather hasn’t exactly been the best for any kind of outdoor activity.

So what can you do to keep up a fitness regime that doesn’t cost much money, and that you can do inside, in the warm, watching TV and is FUN to do?

Kelly Osbourne, daughter of Ozzy and Sharon and TV presenter on E, may have the answer – she tweeted recently:

“I’m all about Hula-hooping right now! 5 mins in the morning, 5 mins at night... in 5 days I lost 2 inches from my waist line! #LovingIt”

REALLY??? Surely she must be doing something else as well. Or can just ten minutes of hula-hooping per day genuinely have such a dramatic result? Our Broadcast Co-Ordinator Sinéad Renshaw has made it her goal to try and shift some weight and tone up this year, so we decided that she should put Kelly’s claim to the test!! And because we don’t want any pulled or strained muscles Derek is also joined by Jenny Branigan, physio with Total Physio...

New Years Resolutions Exercise Tips & Cautions

Jenny Branigan, Chartered Physiotherapist at Total Physio, now in Stillorgan and Rathmines, also has tips for avoiding injury during the New Year’s resolution period:

A vital part of getting fit is realising the body’s limitations and planning to get beyond them. You plan and set goals and look for results. But what about the important structures of our bodies, such as joints and soft tissues, that can break down in this quest for fitness? We run to get fit. But are we fit to run? This vital yet common oversight can result in painful injury, frustration and sometimes an early end to a flourishing running career.

Back to basics - quadriceps flexibility

We all know how to stretch the quads but how many actually do it?Quadriceps flexibility is vital for any walking or running based activity.
Part of the quadriceps muscle crosses the hip and knee joints, so it has the potential to cause problems in two joints if it gets tight.For that extra bit of suppleness, try massaging your own quadriceps, 2-3 times per week, using your forearm and elbow for that extra physio depth!Or invest in a foam roller to do it for you – make sure to roll from hip to knee!

Work / life Balance? How about just balance?

When we run, one foot has to land on the surface, take the body’s weight, stabilise the leg as it transfers the body weight to the other foot to push forward. In a marathon this happens on average of 41,000 times between both feet.With poor balance, your foot may wobble as it lands and stress the supporting soft tissue structures as it attempts to maintain stability. In isolation this wobble may seem minimal. But if it happens each time the foot has to bear the bodyweight and propel the body forward, very soon you are building up a lot of stress to be taken by structures not designed to withstand such pressure.If you ever sprained or broke your ankle and you regard it as your “weak ankle”, this is an injury waiting to happen. Test it - can you stand on one foot for 30 seconds without holding on or falling over? Then repeat with the eyes closed for 30 seconds.

Glut strength / buttock strength:

Your buttocks need to be strong enough to support your pelvis when you are on one foot. Test it! Try the clam - lie on your side. This needs to be tested with any lower limb injury, so make sure your Chartered Physio looks at this area, even if you have a calf or ankle problem.




Death Of Éamon de Buitlear

We were saddened to learn of the death of the wildlife broadcaster, musician and documentary-maker Eamon de Buitlear yesterday.  Eamon appeared many times on Mooney Goes Wild, and will be greatly missed by all who worked with him.  Richard Collins comes into studio to give us his memories of Éamon, plus we hear hear Éamon chatting and performing on our Dawn Chorus programme in 2008.

A Girl Named Girl

These days, passport controllers are more and more likely to see names such as Fifi Trixibelle and Apple and Sage Moonblood and Memphis Eve filter through their checkpoints, but in the case of 15-year-old Blive Bjarkar-dóttir Rúnars-dóttir from Iceland, they will read just the word “girl”…

This is because the state refuses to recognise her name as it is not on a list approved by the government’s Personal Names Register…

Now her mother - Bjork Eidsdottir - argues that it is a basic human right to be able to name your child what you want, especially if it doesn't harm your child in any way.

So she is suing the Icelandic state for her daughter’s right to legally use her name – Blive -which means "light breeze" in Icelandic

Bjork and Blive join Derek from the studios of RUV Reykjavik in Iceland to explain more...

Strange Names

Johnny Cash's hugely entertaining hit A Boy Named Sue is all about a boy whose father gave him the very unfortunate first name "Sue". And he did so before disappearing altogether out of his son's life! Leaving him to fend for himself, with this awful name, Sue! Well, Mooney producer Olan McGowan joins Derek in studio to take a look at some names for children that go WAY beyond the cruelty of calling your son "Sue".

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.

UPDATE: February 29th 2016 - Press Release From BirdWatch Ireland:

Putting the record straight: Dates for burning and hedge-cutting have NOT changed

BirdWatch Ireland, Ireland’s largest conservation charity, is very concerned about misinformation that is currently circulating regarding the dates within which the burning of vegetation and cutting of hedges is permitted.  It would like to remind landowners that all burning and cutting must cease on 29th February this year and that burning and cutting remains prohibited from 1st March to 31st August.

Despite attempts by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys T.D., to change the laws regulating these dates by introducing the Heritage Bill 2016 earlier this year, it is important to note that the proposed date changes were ultimately NOT made.  This is because the bill failed to pass through both houses of the Oireachtas before the recent dissolution of the Dáil in advance of the general election.

The laws in place governing the dates for hedge-cutting and upland burning therefore remain unchanged. The period within which cutting and burning is prohibited are set down in Section 40 of the Wildlife Act 1976 (as amended in 2000), which states that:

(a) It shall be an offence for a person to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy, during the period beginning on the 1st day of March and ending on the 31st day of August in any year, any vegetation growing on any land not then cultivated.
(b) It shall be an offence for a person to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy any vegetation growing in any hedge or ditch during the period mentioned in paragraph (a) of this subsection (above).

The existing law provides exemptions for road safety and other circumstances and should be read carefully to ensure compliance.

Section 40 of the Wildlife Act exists to protect nesting birds. Many of our upland bird species are in decline and are in danger of extinction in Ireland; amongst them is the Curlew, which has declined by 80%. Many birds which nest in hedgerows into August are also in serious decline, including the endangered Yellowhammer. The changes to the cutting and burning dates which had been proposed in the now-defunct Heritage Bill 2016 would have caused serious impacts to these birds. A petition launched by BirdWatch Ireland in conjunction with several other national conservation organisations to stop these changes attracted more than 16,200 signatures and rising.

BirdWatch Ireland would also like to advise members of the public that if they see hedges being cut or fires in the uplands on or after 1st March, such activity could be illegal.  In such cases, we would encourage people to contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service ( to report such activity.

BirdWatch Ireland warmly welcomes the demise of the Heritage Bill 2016 and sincerely hopes that any future administration will consider the importance of Ireland’s natural heritage and will not attempt to reintroduce such a flawed and damaging piece of legislation.

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


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


***Download the Dawn Chorus 2017 podcasts***

Dawn Chorus 2017 - First Hour - 00:00 - 01:00

Dawn Chorus 2017 - Second Hour - 01:00 - 02:00

Dawn Chorus 2017 - Third Hour - 02:00 - 03:00

Dawn Chorus 2017 - Fourth Hour - 03:00 - 04:00

Dawn Chorus 2017 - Fifth Hour - 04:00 - 05:00

Dawn Chorus 2017 - Sixth Hour - 05:00 - 06:00



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Presenter: Derek Mooney


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