Wednesday, April 17th 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...

We find out why you’re more likely to be hit by bird droppings if your car is silver, and we go in search of Ireland’s oldest pillow and investigate what lurks within what we sleep on!


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.

Do Silver Cars Attract More Bird Droppings?

Do Silver Cars Attract More Bird Droppings?

Here on Mooney, we often get requests for help and we’re happy to assist when we can. One such e-mail came into the show from Mary Turner Kilgarriff, from Galway:

Good day Derek and Brenda,

I have made an observation, albeit an amateur one, perhaps you could comment?

We have a silver car, an Audi A6, a '04. When I get it washed, hardly an hour passes and some low flying bird will have emptied his bird bowels on the car. Irksome indeed.

On my now daily walk through Galway university campus, I have taken notice of the numbers of silver cars with adherance of bird droppings versus other colours of cars.

So how can this be? Is it something in the air!! Am I going bonkers? Maybe you and your wild life experts can help.

Well, Brenda is with Mary on the campus of NUI Galway, along with our ornithologist in Cork, Jim Wilson, to investigate...

Pillows & Allergies

David Woolfson was in the Mooney studio back in December 2011 telling us about his PILLOW! It’s a very special pillow, and he says he wouldn’t sleep with any other pillow!

David is the founder of SleepAngel pillows, an Irish company who make special pillows that are a barrier to viruses, moulds, bacteria and allergens. And at the time David ‘grossed’ us all out with tales of the nasty things that live inside our old pillows.

He’s back today because we are conducting an experiment to find ‘Ireland’s Dirtiest Pillow’. We want you, our Mooney listeners, to pick out your oldest, lumpiest, most-stained and disgusting pillow. Then send us in a photo of you holding the pillow, along with a brief history of the pillow!

We’re then going to pick 25 lucky listeners, and SleepAngel are going to send a DPD courier to take away your dirty pillow and replace it with a brand new SleepAngel pillow worth €69!

And that’s not all. Have you ever wondered what is living inside your pillow? Your pillow will be sent to the Airmid Laboratories in Trinity College to SEE what sort of nasty residents your pillow has – and you’ll get a full report back!  And for the owner of the absolute dirtiest pillow, we've a fabulous break to Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore!

Bruce Mitchell, Consultant Clinical Immunologist and Allergist at the Blackrock Clinic is also here. Bruce is involved with Airmid in Trinity College and will be looking through the 25 dirtiest pillows!

For more, see And to find out more about SleepAngel pillows, visit

Ireland's Dirtiest Pillows Competition!

We want you to send us in a photo of yourself holding your ‘minging-ist’ pillow.

It must be at least 2 years old.

Strip off your pillowcases and choose your lumpiest, your bumpiest, and your most-stained pillow.

E-mail the photos to

We will pick out 25 listeners and DPD will send a courier to your home to pick up your old pillow, and replace it with a brand new SleepAngel pillow worth €69.

Your old pillow will be air-sealed and sent to the Airmid Laboratories in the Trinity Enterprise Campus.

We will be broadcasting LIVE from the Airmid labs on May 3rd and we’ll be looking into your pillows, to see all the microscopic nasties that the naked eye can’t see.

When they are all checked we will finally declare 'Ireland’s Dirtiest Pillow'!

And, to reward the winner for having slept on something so rotten for so long, SleepAngel will give you enough SleepAngel pillows for your entire house AS WELL AS an overnight stay for two in the luxurious Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, complete with breakfast and dinner!

So get your pillow photos into us BEFORE 5PM THIS FRIDAY. And don’t forget to give us a brief history of how old the pillow is, who slept on it over the years… that sort of thing!

The e-mail address is:

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***

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Presenter: Derek Mooney


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