Wednesday, January 30th 2013

Follow Us On Social Media:


Twitter: @naturerte

E-mail Us:

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

Did you know you can claim back taxes and fees for missed air flights?

From Vegas to Finglas: The Rat Pack join Brenda Donohue at the Erin’s Isle GAA club in Dublin 11.

Benson and Hedges, Chablis and Chardonnay – we examine the strange names we give our children.

Claim Your Air Tax Back!

Claim Your Air Tax Back!

As you may know, Derek is always interested in saving a few bob. Since he declared a couple of weeks ago that he doesn’t believe in giving wedding presents, he has been called "cheap", "mean", "tight" and "a disgrace!" (although he prefers the adjectives "thrifty", "prudent", "frugal" and "careful!")

So, when he heard about a website that can give you back money that is owed to you - well, that was just music to his ears! The website is - they’re an Irish company - and they can help you claim back the taxes, fees and charges on flights you missed, or chose to not travel on - and all for a flat fee of five euro! It sounds a bit too good to be true, so we invite Brian Whelan, Chief Executive of, into studio to explain more about how it works...


The Rat Pack In Finglas!

The Rat Pack In Finglas!

Last Monday night, you could have mistaken Erin’s Isle GAA club in Finglas for Ceaser's Palace in Las Vegas, when The Rat Pact turned up and entertained one and all there!

Frank, Sammy and Dean - The Rat Pack Live from Las Vegas are currently performing in the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin, but they hot-footed to Finglas to sing for the volunteers and older members of the Monday Musicial and Bingo Evening.

It may not have been black tie but our Brenda got out the glam rags for night... The Rat Pack are Stephen Triffitt (Frank Sinatra), Mark Adams (Dean?Martin) & George?Long (Sammy?Davis Jr).

You can catch the Rat Pack in Dublin's Gaiety Theatre until this Saturday, February 3rd. For more information, click here.

Click here to see a video of the Rat Pack performing in Finglas!



Strange Names

Strange Names

What can be more fun than picking a name for your new baby? You scan through the baby name books, discuss what your friends have called their new babies and of course consider the pressure from the grandparents to have the child called after themselves.

You draw up your lists and begin crossing off names, how does it sound with the surname, is it too fussy? Is it too common? Oh what fun! Well, it certainly was for the Lillian and Robert Chambers from Blackrock, who have four children: Ravinol, Athos, Tamar & Lloyd. They certainly raised a few eyebrows with their name choices. Brenda went to visit the family...

News In Briefs

News In Briefs

Well, you don't have to be a regular reader to know that there is a tabloid newspaper called The Sun. And every day, Page 3 of this paper centres around a picture of what we in the business call a "glamour model".

Now, people have mixed feelings about the whole "Page 3" phenomenon. And that's understandable. But what can't be denied is that "Page 3" is a real institution at this stage.

However, many people in their unseemly haste to bypass Page 3 miss out on the news titbits provided on a daily basis by these very attractive young ladies. If you didn't know, there is a little dialogue box accompanying the picture of the Page 3 model everyday. And that little box is entitled "News in Briefs". For example, yesterday's offering was from 22-year-old redhead Lucy: "Page 3 Idol 2012 winner, Lucy, was thrilled by the launch of this year's contest. She said "girls might think it's a long shot, but you never know unless you try. As political theorist, Thomas Paine, said "the harder the conflict, the more glorious triumph".

So there you go. For those of you who might dismiss these girls, it's nice to learn they are so familiar with the works of a man like Thomas Paine, that well-known 18th-century political activist, author, and one of the inspirations behind the American Revolution.We set producer Olan McGowan the torturous task of unearthing more pearls of wisdom from these pulchritudinous poppets - he joins Derek in studio with more examples of News In Briefs!


Chess 4 All

Chess 4 All

Yesterday, Mooney reporter went to Francis St CBS yesterday to see the work of the Chess 4 All organisation. They have been around for a couple of years, they have seven instructors nationwide who are in seven schools each - so 49 schools are benefitting – and the chess is free! And they can do this thanks to an anonymous benefactor who has given them a lump sum, with the express instruction that they target disadvantaged or Deis schools to instill the children there with a love of chess, because his thinking is that chess can keep kids off the streets. And in fact in America they have a slogan "push pawns, not drugs"!

Chess 4 All got in contact with us because they are holding a huge junior tournament on March 23rd at Leopardstown Racecourse in Dublin. Last year 160 students competed, and this year it’s open to 500 students. 250 places are gone already but they are looking for students aged 7-12 of all abilities to come along. You get free lunch, a free chess board and, in some cases, free transport.

Chess 4 All are in schools – and yesterday they held a fun event in Francis St CBS where two older experienced chess teachers Michael Crowe and Eamon Keogh took on 42 boys in a game of chess... For more information about Chess 4 All, visit



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



Contact the Show

RTÉ is not responsible for the content of external websites

Presenter: Derek Mooney


Ways to Listen

Radio Player