Wednesday, April 3rd 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

On Mooney today...

Mary Kingston finds out why, in the age of Twitter and Facebook, people bent on revenge may quickly regret it, Kationa McFadden continues her trail along the Camino de Santiago, and we’ve music from songwriter Vyvienne Long!


In advance of the 58th Eurovision Song Contest (May 14th – 18th, Malmö, Sweden), indulge your Eurovision fever with Derek and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra!

Mooney's Eurovision Melodies will take place in the Main Auditorium at the National Concert Hall on Thursday, May 9th at 8pm, and joining the RTÉ Concert Orchestra will be Eurovision legends Niamh Kavanagh, Paul Harrington and more...

A nostalgic celebration of the heady days of Ireland’s past success in Eurovision and in anticipation of future glory (!), the programme will include What’s Another Year?, In Your Eyes, Volare, Rock’n’Roll Kids ... and there may be a few surprises!

Prices range from €13.50 to €39.50, and there is a 10% discount for groups of 10 or more. To book, click here or call the NCH Box Office on 01 417-0000.

The Price Of Revenge

The Price Of Revenge

Does wreaking revenge ever actually do us any good? Or does the hurt it causes always return to haunt us in the end? Are you hurting 'yourself' more than 'them'? However tempted a wronged person may feel to take revenge, it's always a good idea to step back and take stock first.

One of the hottest shows on TV at the moment, Revenge (pictured), tells of a young woman called Emily who is intent on seeking revenge against those who separated her from her father. And around watercoolers it prompted the question - how far would you go to get your own back on someone who had done you wrong?

Mary Kingston met up with Rachel Henderson, who is a life coach; she talked about how the easy access and immediacy of social media (such as Twitter and Facebook) has made taking revenge a whole lot easier - but at what cost?

And Mary also headed down to Bray, to ask those strolling the waterfront: is revenge ever ok?

Camino de Santiago de Compostela - Days Three And Four

Camino de Santiago de Compostela - Days Three And Four

Mooney reporter Katriona McFadden is walking the Camino De Santiago in Spain this week and is sending us back ‘Audio Diary’ reports. She is walking it with her fiancé, JP. One of JP’s jobs is to give Katriona a boiled sweet before she has to walk up a hill. Otherwise she gets cranky apparently!

Katriona is travelling courtesy of, an Irish company specialising in accommodation, transport & luggage transfer along the Camino.


Because it is Easter week and the schools are out, many families are choosing to walk the Camino. At breakfast we met Michelle Sparks from Johannesburg and her two daughters Cassidy (13) and Tanika (12 - pictured below).

Cassidy (13) and Tanika (12) Sparks from Johannesburg. They were walking the last 220km of the Camino with their Mum, Michelle. Michelle walked the entire French Way last year (800km) and vowed afterwards she would never do the Camino again! After a couple of months she missed the Camino and saved up enough money to bring her two girls along this year on their Easter Holidays.

Michelle walked the entire French Way last year (800km) and decided to bring her girls with her this year to walk the last 200km. Tanika thinks the Camino is a great way of ‘getting to know your inner self and deciding if there is anything you would like to change about yourself’ – wise words from a 12 year old!

It was raining again this morning when we said goodbye to the Sparks and started on our merry way. Palas De Rei didn’t have an outdoor shop after all but the raincoat problem was solved by a newsagent who sold giant plastic ponchos for €4. Happy days!

His and hers rain ponchos!

Today’s walk was a lot prettier than yesterday’s, lots of forest and farmyard and very little main road. It was also the most challenging, mud-wise. We encountered lake-like puddles and took our time finding the best way around them.

Mud, everywhere!

Tired, anyone?!

We also past the halfway mark (pictured below). We took a photo of the 55km milestone to remind ourselves that we are getting closer and closer to Santiago.

Halfway to Santiago - yay!

Melide is a charming little town, the sun came out as we approached it and we were here in time to explore and eat some delicious ‘Pulpo’ (pictured below). Pulpo is Galician octopus, it is on every menu we have encountered, and we were told that Melide is one of the best towns to eat it in.

Pulpo or Galician octopus

As we walked in the door of ‘Pulperia Garnacha’ we could see an old lady standing at a counter furiously chopping up an octopus with a knife. It is then drizzled with oil and sprinkled in paprika and sea salt and it tastes... Yum!

We shared a bench with a Spanish couple and told them (in broken Spanish) that we are from Ireland and are walking the Camino de Santiago. They congratulated us on finding the best Pulperia in Melide! We are staying in the Hotel Carlos 96. The manager, Luis Castro, lived in London until he was 20. His family then moved back to Melide to pursue their dream of opening a hotel.

The best Pulperia in Melide!

He tells me that people travel for miles to eat Pulpo in Melide. When he hears we are interested in food he brings us a cheese tasting plate. Arzua (our next stop on the Camino) is famous for cheese he says. “The second-best-selling cheese in Spain after Manchego” He also offers us some local wine. The region is known for its white wine but they’ve started making some good reds he says. Winemakers had all but given up on trying to produce red wine. Temperatures in the valley were warm by day but cold by night. Totally unsuitable conditions for red wine production. Local monks persevered however and discovered the key to growing grapes for red wine was to place large stones in the soil. The stones absorb heat from the sun during the day and slowly release it at night when it is colder. Another local delicacy are the ‘Pimientos de Padron’ (pictured), little green peppers cooked and rolled in salt.

Pimientos de Padron - delicious!

My left hip started to hurt today, walking up and down stairs wasn’t easy. JP says I am turning into an old woman. But no blisters and another easy walking day tomorrow, only 13km to Arzua.

Here’s hoping that the sun will still be shining tomorrow!


The sun has got his hat on. Hip hip hip hooray! Today’s walk was the prettiest yet, market traders were setting up their stalls as we left pretty Melide and we encountered lots of quiet country roads, footbridges and forest paths.

Leaving Melide

Bright yellow butterflies fluttered along beside us as we walked. We came across a little unmanned ‘honour shop’ en route (pictured). Pilgrims were free to buy a punnet of strawberries or a slice of cake from the stall and leave the correct amount in the money tin.

An unmanned 'honour shop' at the side of the road - take what you want and leave the correct amount in the money tin.

Because we only had 13km to walk today we decided against stopping for lunch and pushed on to Arzua instead. We made only one short stop, to have a Coke in the newly-opened ‘German Cafe’. The owner told me he opened it last year and is delighted with how business has been so far. The last time we walked the Camino (2010) we couldn’t get accommodation in Arzua. We felt like Mary and Joseph getting turned away from every ‘albergue’ and hotel we tried.

In the end-up we slept on a basketball court inside a sports centre with a hundred or so Spanish secondary school students who insisted on playing football all night long.

Pretty countryside en route to Arzua

Today it is nice to know that our accommodation is pre-booked for us. The Pension El Retiro is our guesthouse and is the first building we see on the left as we enter Arzua. On Luis’ instruction, we will try some more cheese tonight. A big walking day tomorrow. 23km to Amenal.

Vyvienne Long

Vyvienne Long

Dublin will be hosting the Dublin Beatles Festival this November to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the band’s first visit to the Dublin in 1963. The Beatles played Dublin’s Adelphi Cinema on Middle Abbey Street (now Arnott’s car park) on Thursday, November 7th 1963.

The songs of The Beatles are amongst the most celebrated, loved and covered pieces of music ever written.  Vyvienne Long is a singer, songwriter and cellist from Dublin, and she joins Derek in studio today to chat about the return of The Beatles Show to the Odessa Club this month, her involvement with that, and to play some Beatles classics for us!

THE BEATLES SHOW returns to Dublin for six performances in April (22nd - 25th); it consists of three Beatles-related plays – LENNON v McCARTNEY / DEATH AND THE BEATLES FAN / JOHN LENNON’S LAST DAY – plus the music of The Beatles performed live by VYVIENNE LONG and THE NEWSPAPER TAXI MEN. Tickets for the show cost €16 (including booking fee).  For more information about the show, visit click here.  And to visit Vyvienne's website, click here.

And if you'd like to enjoy Vyvienne's version of And I Love Her once more, then just click to play below! 


Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise is in Dublin today for the premiere of his new movie Oblivion, and between all his interviews and engagements, he found time for a quick chat on the phone with Derek...

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