Thursday, March 7th 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!

On Mooney today...

On Mooney today...

Paul G reveals who will represent the UK at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest, Dermot O’Neill answers your gardening queries, and Brenda Donohue tests a new vajazzling kit...

A Vajazzling Deal?

Well, we always love a bargain on Mooney and when Brenda came across a Vajazzle Kit on sale for €1.49 in Dealz she felt she had to bring it to your attention.

In order to do this she has enlisted the help of Natalie Geraghty, currently starring in Tallafornia on TV3 to road test the product...

Bonnie Tyler To Represent UK At Eurovision

Bonnie Tyler To Represent UK At Eurovision

30 years ago, Margaret Thatcher in power, the yuppie generation reigned supreme, and music was all about the power ballad.  Arguably the biggest and best of these came in 1983, with Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse Of The Heart... (grab your hairbrush!) 

30 years on, it has been announced that Bonnie Tyler will sally forth to represent the UK at Eurovision 2013 in Sweden, with the song Believe In Me

Derek is joined in studio today by our very own EuroGuru, Mr. Paul G Sheridan, to give us his verdict on the song and the selection of Bonnie to sing it.  What do you think? E-mail us on or tweet us @MooneyShow, call us on 1850 715 900 or text 51551!

Gardening With Dermot O'Neill

Gardening With Dermot O'Neill

The Largest Cotoneaster In Ireland?

One of our listeners from County Cork contacted the programme with some beautiful pictures of her unusually large Cotoneaster plant.

The high roads and byroads of Donegal have been well documented on this programme by our intrepid reporter Katriona McFadden. So, when Alice Leggett’s email arrived, Mooney researcher Michele Browne insisted on going down to find out whether the largest cotoneaster in Ireland was in her own parish of origin – Ballinhassig!

For some expert advice, she brought David O’Regan - who’s Head Gardener at Fota - with her.

The Imperial Gardens Of The Forbidden City, Beijing

The 1987 film The Last Emperor tells the story of the life of Pu-yee, the last Emperor of China, and the beautiful, evocative music of that movie takes you right inside the walls of the Forbidden City, the world’s largest palace complex.

It conjures images of the building’s sloping roofs with their Imperial Yellow and ornamental dragons, the opulence and grandeur of the structures as you enter Tian'anmen - the Gate of Heavenly Peace.

Construction of the City began in 1406, it took 14 years to build and over one MILLION men were involved in its construction. Over the period of five centuries, it was the residence of 24 successive emperors until 1912 when Ching Emperor Pu-yee was forced to abdicate the throne.

If you were to visit the City, and go through the Gate of Terrestrial Tranquility, you will find the Imperial Garden built during the Ming dynasty.

Dermot O'Neill has visited the Imperial Garden on a couple of occasions, and is in studio today with advice as to how you can bring a touch of the Yin and Yang of this garden into your home…

Don't Forget!

Dermot's TV show Dermot's Secret Garden continues this evening with the fourth episode of the series, when June Rodgers makes an appearance.  It's on RTÉ One at 7pm, and you can find out more information about the show by visiting

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


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Presenter: Derek Mooney


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