The robin, not the turkey, is the real Christmas bird; you'll find him on cards, cakes and Christmas trees. But is Robin Redbreast having us on? Is he really the friendly and gentle little fellow he seems? Does he deserve his special Christmas place? Dr. Richard Collins, scientific adviser to Mooney Goes Wild, investigates! To read more about this special documentary, and to listen to the programme, click here.
On Mooney today...
Brenda Donohue investigates the claim the birds drop more of their poo on silver cars than cars of any other colour!
We meet a man who has taken the mystery out of packing your groceries, by designing a unique, compartmentalised shopping bag.
And Ritchie Beirne celebrates the unique skill of the cattle market auctioneer!
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.
Secrets Of The Irish Landscape
Next month, a new three-part series examines the changing geology of the island of Ireland.
16,000 years ago, Ireland was a land covered in ice, uninhabitable to both humans and animals. So how did Ireland go from being a frozen country to the green and pleasant land of today? In this new series, Derek Mooney pieces together the clues to uncover the Secrets Of The Irish Landscape...
Click here to view the series trailer:
This television series will begin on RTÉ One on Sunday, May 5th 2013, at 6.30pm.
The World's Most Expensive Shirt?
We've been talking a bit about Charlie Haughey this week, in relation to the tea pot he gave to Margaret Thatcher. A rather expensive teapot it was, too - made of silver, an antique... probably worth a fair few quid!
As we all know, Charlie had expensive tastes - not just in teapots, but in shirts as well. Remember the infamous Charvet shirts? They used to cost the equivalent of €300 in today's money.
Well, an Indian man has gone not just ONE step further but nearly 1000 steps further! He has commissioned a shirt made of pure gold with a value of around $235,000. A figure that would buy you nearly 1000 Charvet shirts!
His name is Datta Phuge. He is a 32-year-old moneylender from the city of Pune, in India. Pune is the ninth largest city in India. It's in western India, just south of Mumbai.
The shirt is made from 3.5 kg of 22 carat gold. It has 14,000 gold flowerings, interwoven with 100,000 spangles. It's all sewn onto the base of fine white velvet. It has six Swarovski Crystal buttons. And it took 15 goldsmiths over 15 days to make it. Each of them labouring away for 18 hours a day!
What would Louis Copeland would make of it all!?
From Ticher to Thatcher – The Tale of The Travelling Teapot
You’ve been transfixed by the tale of the Thatcher teapot over the past week. We brought you the first ever public picture of the Georgian antique yesterday, and today, we have a valuation today! Mooney producer Fergus Sweeney is back in with the latest...
The teapot that Charles Haughey gave to Margaret Thatcher
This is a picture of the teapot presented by Charles Haughey to Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street in May 1980. Our producer Fergus Sweeney found the picture in the National Archives in the personal collection of famous silver collector Dr Kurt Ticher.
Information regarding the teapot that Charles Haughey gave to Margaret Thatcher
The print on the back of the photo shows that this is the famous teapot that has entered Irish political folklore. To the best of our knowledge pictures of the teapot were never made public.
It was the fastest draw in the history of the Dragons' Den, in association with Bank Of Ireland last night, when Dragon supremo Gavin Duffy wasted no time in getting in on the action for Paul Doyle’s unique solution to shopping bags ...
Well for those who didn’t see the show last night, Paul Doyle, who is from Carlow, is in studio to explain how his Trolleybags system works, and how it went down with the Dragons last night... To find out more about Trolleybags, visit www.trolleybags.ie.
Dragons' Den is on Sundays at 9.30pm on RTÉ One - for more information about the series, and to play the Sixth Dragon, visit www.rte.ie/tv/dragonsden. To watch the episode again on the RTÉ Player, click here.
It's Mooney, it's Tuesday, so it must be time for Mooney's Tuesday Quiz! Our prize today is a fantastic two-night weekend break for two people sharing one deluxe room in Dublin’s largest 5-star hotel, the luxurious Shelbourne Hotel, overlooking Dublin’s St Stephens Green!!
Your prize includes full Irish Breakfast on both mornings and dinner on a night of your choice in the hotel's 'Saddle Room' restaurant.
The Shelbourne Hotel have also agreed to send their driver to pick the winner up from anywhere in the Dublin area, or any Dublin bus or train station – meaning you will truly arrive in style!
And runner-up will get a beautiful huge hardback coffee-table book called Birds Through Irish Eyes, by Anthony McGeehan and Julian Wyllie. And everyone who takes part in the quiz will also get a MOONEY Pride watch!
Yesterday, we learned all about the small museum, housed in and all about Dublin's Shelbourne Museum. And we also found out that the Princess Grace suite at the hotel cost an eye-watering €2,500 per night. What, we wondered, would you get for that - and is that the most expensive hotel room in Ireland? What about worldwide?
Katriona McFadden joins Derek in studio to take us through some of the entries on the list of the world's top ten most expensive hotel rooms!
The top three are:
3. Manhattan (New York, USA) – Four Seasons Hotel
Located in midtown Manhattan, the Four Seasons Hotel offers a luxurious Penthouse with a huge panorama of the city. The suite has nine rooms, and the service includes a butler for your whole stay. A night in the Penthouse at the Four Seasons Hotel will cost you $32,000.
2. Las Vegas (Nevada, USA) – Palms Casino Resort Hotel
If you are visiting Vegas and have hit the jackpot at the casino, nothing ends the night better than a good rest in the 929sqm Hugh Hefner villa at the Palms Casino Resort Hotel. The room comes with a butler, a Jacuzzi with a panoramic view of Las Vegas, and total privacy. The Hugh Hefner Suite at this hotel will cost you $38,000 per night.
1. Athens (Greece) – The Grand Resort Lagonissi
They say that if the 1,188 square meters Royal Villa at this hotel doesn’t impress you, nothing in the world can. The suite comes with a breathtaking panoramic view where you can enjoy the sunset from everywhere inside. Yes, you can even lie in the bathtub and watch the sunset – the bathroom has remote-operated blinds. A butler and a private chef are included. A night in the Royal Villa at this hotel will cost you $48,000.
As you may have heard last week, Mooney producer and wannabe chef Olan McGowan will be heading to Kinsale this weekend, to take part in the third annual "All Ireland Chowder Cook-off"!
He has his recipe finalised, and his accomodation, and ingredients - but he is looking for one thing: YOUR help!
Acton's Hotel will sponsor Olan, providing him with their kitchen and a chef, to cook this chowder fresh on Sunday morning. HOWEVER, he is looking for a couple of volunteers to help him dish out the chowder. He will be cooking a minimum of 20 litres, and will have little ramekins at his table. He needs two volunteers to stand with him for the couple of hours and help dish the chowder out to all of the public!
If you would like to volunteer your services to help Olan's chowder chances, then e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Acton's Hotel in Kinsale are sponsoring the Mooney chowder entry, and The Blue Haven Food Company (www.bluehavenfoodco.com) are supplying the ingredients. To find out more about the The Third All-Ireland Chowder Cook-off & Kinsale Street Food Gathering click here!
If you'd like to attend the Chowder Cook-Off, most people will buy tickets on the day. That's the easiest. If you have booked accommodation and you definitely want to get tickets in advance, you can call 021 477-3571 (Finishing Services/ Good Food Circle).
Olan's Chowder Recipe
Serves 12 (500ml bowls)
1 kg smoked fish, small pieces (cod, haddock, coley) 500 g non-smoked fish, small chunks (salmon) 500 g mixed seafood (squid, mussels, clams, prawns) One small tin of anchovies, finely chopped 200 g of pancetta Two large onions, diced 10 cloves of garlic, finely chopped Three large carrots, diced Six sticks of celery, diced Two very thin leeks, sliced into thin circles 2 rooster potatoes, diced Seven radishes, sliced very thinly 1 kg cherry tomatoes Parsley, roughly chopped Dill, roughly chopped Chives, cut with scissors into 5-10 mm pieces One tablespoon dried, mixed herbs Full fat, Kerrygold butter 500ml of dry white wine (Chardonnay, dry reisling) 5L of fish stock Freshly ground salt and pepper Olive oil Pinch of smoked paprika Salt & pepper
1. Wash and dry the cherry tomatoes. Put them in a large roasting tin. Drizzle a little olive oil over them, season with salt and pepper. Roast at 175° for 60-70 min.
2. In a large copper pot, melt one large knob of butter with some olive oil. Do not over-heat. When melted, Sauté the garlic, onions, pancetta and mixed dried herbs for 5 min.. Add the anchovies, fry for another 2 min.
3. Add all of the chopped vegetables: carrots, celery, leeks, radishes, potatoes. Stir everything, cover the pot, and saute at a low temperature for a further 5 min. During this time, add the dill and stir well.
4. While the vegetables are cooking, take the roasted cherry tomatoes and blend them in a blender to a smooth paste.
5. Add 500 mls of white wine to the vegetable mixture, turn up the heat, and allow to reduce by half.
6. When the wine has reduced, add the fish stock and blended cherry tomato paste. Stir well, and bring to the boil.
7. When the mixture boils, all of the seafood and the remaining herbs, the parsley and chives. Stir well. Add a pinch of smoked paprika, just to deepen the colour. Ground pepper to taste.
8. Serve hot, and sprinkle a little parsley on top.
You may remember a few weeks ago Brenda was down in Dungarvan for the auction of Tubridy the calf - and we heard Ryan auctioning off the calf.
But the real deal are those men who week in and week out sell thousands of cattle and sheep at marts throughout the country...
If you’ve ever heard these guys in action you’ll know that they are absolute masters of their craft. But how anyone can understand what they’re actually saying can sometimes be a bit of a mystery... So we decided to find out from the horses’ mouth as they say!
Our own country boy Richie Beirne is here to take us through the magic of the mart - specifically the mart in Carnew in south Wicklow, which sells cattle on a Saturday and sheep on a Thursday...
For more information about the Carnew Mart, including upcoming sales, visit www.carnewmart.ie.
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.
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