Mooney Goes Wild

    Sunday, 10pm-11pm, RTÉ Radio 1

    Wednesday, March 27th 2013

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    We speak to a Disability Rights campaigner who visited so-called "death clinics" around Europe. Would her experiences change her mind on the emotional and controversial issue of assisted suicide? And Brenda Donohue meets the couple who've given up their jobs and are travelling Europe in a camper van!

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    Assisted Suicide

    Hollywood actor and former Galway resident Martin Sheen is an ardent campaigner against assisted death.

    We’ve spoken frequently on the programme over the years about end-of-life decisions. We’ve interviewed doctors and various spokespeople about HOW sick people should die and what control they should be allowed over their own death.

    And we’re all going to 'go' someday, so it’s an interesting debate to have.

    There was a very 'thought-provoking' radio documentary on the BBC World Service recently about this very subject. It was entitled When Assisted Death Is Legal and the presenter was British comedienne, actress and disability rights campaigner Liz Carr.

    She travelled to the five countries in the world where assisted death is legal, namely Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the States of Oregon and Washington in the United States.

    It was a fascinating documentary, especially as Liz is a campaigner AGAINST assisted suicide in the UK. She wanted to visit these other places to see if she is right to be concerned and could anything change her mind.

    She joins Derek from the BBC studios in London to tell us what she uncovered... For more information about the documentary, visit www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p014dkq5.

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    Around Europe In A Camper Van

    Today we bring you the story of our very own Tom and Barbara Good, who have decided to cut themselves loose from the shackles of work and mortgage payments and head – literally – for the hills…

    From the banks of the river Blackwater, on the 4th of May this year, June Molloy Vladicka and her husband Arunas are setting off on a trip of a life time…

    They will head through the highways and byways of Europe. They will stop off in destinations as various as Glastonbury and Seville, the Champagne region of France and Lake Garda of Italy. Final destination - Adakavas in Lithuania.

    And their home for the next – unspecified – period time of their lives… a splendid 1998 Mercedes Sprinter

    They brought the camper van into RTÉ, where Brenda Donohue had a nose around...  To read their blog about preparing for the journey, visit www.myfoododyssey.com.

    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 (www.npws.ie) 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.

    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

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