Monday, March 11th 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, with Marty Morrissey...

On Mooney today, with Marty Morrissey...

A Mooney listener gets to fulfil her lifelong dream to travel in convoy on the back of a Harley Davidson, and we speak to the researchers who claim that one in every ten people in the world are interested in a Manchester United match!

Helen's Harley Dream

Helen's Harley Dream

Yesterday, as we all know, was Mother's Day... and we hope all Mums got lots of flowers, chocolate, books, lunches etc honouring all that is good and great with our mothers!

However, Brenda surprised a mum, Helen Hemp from Monkstown, and she had a most unusual but exciting Mothers Day.

She met up with Michael Sheridan, Tony Toner and the Dublin Harley Davidson club - 15 bikers with their Harleys - and they all congregated in Monkstown to surprise Helen... 

Mooney listener Helen Hemp is from Monkstown in Dublin. Helen, a mother of 3, recently turned 60, and as a surprise for her birthday and for Mother's Day, her daughter Jess contacted us to see if we could help Helen fulfill a life-long dream. She had always wanted to ride in a convey of Harley Davidson bikes, so with the help of Michael Sheridan (Motoring Correspondent with, and Tony Toner (Training Director with The Institute of Advanced Motorists of Ireland Limited), Brenda went to Monkstown to help make Helen's dream come true...

Brenda and Jess surprise Helen

 Jess, Helen and Brenda

 Brenda, Helen and the Bikers

 Helen fulfills her dream... 

And off they ride into the sunset!
The videos were taken by Helen's daughter Jacqui, and her son Dave was around the corner hiding out with the rest of the family, including her two little nieces Layla-Rose and Willow-Belle!
Helen's daughter Jess tells us that other family there on the day included her Dad Tom, my sister-in-law Lisa, my auntie Susan, cousin Lynda and Godmother Carey! They all kept the secret from mum which added to the surprise!

Sandy Kelly

Sandy Kelly

She has been up, she has been down, but she never says die ... not even when she had a close shave with mafia. She has sung with Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Patsy Cline, and is arguably Ireland’s first lady of Country.  Sandy Kelly joins Marty in studio today to chat about a remarkable career - one that continues with her Patsy Cline - 50th Anniversary show. The dates for the show are as follows:

- Friday, March 15th: Theatre Royal, Waterford
- Saturday, March 16th: Set Theatre, Kilkenny
- Sunday, March 17th: The Theatre@The Helix, DCU, Dublin
- Monday, March 18th: Cork Opera House

The Global Appeal Of Manchester United

The Global Appeal Of Manchester United

Busby Babes they always made me cry
Thinkin' 'bout the teams of years gone by
Charlton, Edwards, Law and Georgie Best
We're United - you can keep the rest.

Come On You Reds - The Manchester United Football Squad & Status Quo (1994)

It's long been accepted that the 1958 Munich air disaster - even though it nearly caused the club to fold - actually spurred a substantial increase in support for Manchester United.

People across the UK and Ireland, across Europe, even people without any particular interest in soccer, felt some kind of bond with the club. And over the last half-century, that bond seems to have gone from strength to strength.

Recently, Manchester United claimed that any their matches could be of interest to one in ten of the world’s population. The club commissioned a report into the extent of their support, worldwide. And guess what figure they came up with?

659 million supporters! That's over twice the population of the United States, and nearly 150 times the population of the Irish Republic!

Marty is joined on the phone now by Richard Brinkman, from a company called Kantar (the organisation that conducted the research for Manchester United), to explain how exactly they came up with this figure...

Mooney Tunes 8

Mooney Tunes 8 will take place at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on March 24th, and one of the highlights will be a spectacular performance of Verdi's 'Chorus Of The Hebrew Slaves', from Nabucco.

Dragons' Den: Warmer Wedge

Dragons' Den: Warmer Wedge

Last night on Dragons' Den (in association with Bank of Ireland), Mick McKeever sought funding for his Warmer Wedge - but then refused €100,000 and the offers of two Dragons. He joins Marty in studio today to explain why...

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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