We examine the mystery of why so many striped dolphins are dying of the West Coast of Italy. And meanwhile, off the coast of Kerry, Ireland's most popular bottlenose dolphin, Fungie, celebrates 30 years as a resident of Dingle - Brenda Donohue reports!
We will be launching Nestwatch 2013 very shortly, and many of you have contacted us to tell us about the strange places that you have found birds nesting! So we want to find out about the most unusual nest sites in the country! Please send in your photos by e-mail to email@example.com, and we'll put them up on the website! This is not a competition, and there aren't any prizes, but we will credit your photos!
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.
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:
We've had many memorable House Parties on Mooney.
The best and most popular performers in the business including Tommy Fleming, Brian Kennedy, The Fureys, opera singer Niamh Murray, the witty Corrigan Brothers and Daniel O'Donnell have all visited the homes of various Mooney listeners to sing and joke, and generally provide them with a very special evening of entertainment!
Brenda Donohue has news of our next House Party - it's one of Ireland’s best tribute acts, Abbaesque!
The date of the house party is next Wednesday, May 1st, so if you would like Abbaesque to come to your home, office, shed etc... and perform for your family, friends and neighbours, then get in contact with us!
E-mail us now and tell us why you want them, who you’ll have there and make sure you put a contact number on the e-mail!!
As it’s on next week we need your entries in asap!
The closing date for entries is TODAY at 6pm! E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
This weekend, an Orchard Fair will take place in the National Botanic Gardens, in Glasnevin, in Dublin. Entrance to the fair is free and various experts will be on hand to help the public develop an interest in orchids and answer questions.
Did you know that there are thirty species of orchids growing wild in Ireland? Mooney Goes Wild reporter Terry Flanagan went along to the Botanic Gardens and spoke to Brendan Sayers, an orchid expert and co-author of Ireland's Wild Orchids: A Field Guide, to find out about the different orchids that grow here, where and why they grow, and much more!
The Orchid Fair takes place tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday, April 27th and 28th, from 10am - 5pm, and entrance is FREE! For more information, visit www.botanicgardens.ie.
Brendan Sayers at the National Botanic Gardens
A couple of years ago, veteran U.S. journalist Dan Rather made a documentary in which he investigated whether chemicals called ‘Neonicotinoids’ were contributing to bee deaths, not just in America, but worldwide.
Neonicotinoids are pesticides and they’re in the news at the minute because last month the European Commission proposed a temporary ban on their use. The voting countries didn’t reach a ‘qualified majority’ so it goes to ballot again on Monday.
Last month Ireland voted AGAINST the ban. Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said he had ‘technical concerns’ about some of the proposed restrictions. We don’t know if he will change his mind by Monday or not, but today we learn more about these ‘neonicotinoids’, in the company of our own Philip McCabe, who is President of the European Commission for Apimondia…
Thirty years ago, an aquatic visitor to these shores decided to make Dingle his home. Dingle harbour, to be precise! Since then he has been an object of much fascination and speculation. Where did he spring from? And what keeps him in these waters are perpetual questions. The visitor is, of course, Fungie the Dolphin!
Fungie the dolphin; photo by Nick Massett
The late lighthouse-man Paddy Ferritter first spotted Fungie in 1983, and over the years he has become many things to many people.
While he has become both a tourist attraction and an internationally known brand name, there are those who say that he is a source of great healing and spiritual consolation.
Fungie the dolphin; photo by Nick Massett
Well, this weekend to celebrate 30 years of Fungie and as Dingle’s contribution to The Gathering, they are having a Fungie Festival.
There are lots of events planned from films, exhibitions, music, sailings and discussions celebrating Ireland’s favourite dolphin, and today, Mooney reporter Brenda Donohue is at Oceanworld in Dingle.
Fungie the dolphin; photo by Nick Massett
She talks to locals including Ann, who has a fish stand on Strand Street in Dingle, and reports back from taking a boat trip out to see Fungie yesterday. And she also talks to Kevin Flannery, Director of Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium (http://dingle-oceanworld.ie).
For more information about the Fungie Festival in Dingle, visit http://fungiedolphin.com/full-weekend-programme-to-fungie-festival-2013/.
And if you are curious about the photo of Derek that Brenda and Kevin spoke about, then here it is!
Birds and politicians need to get their messages out while, at the same time, covering their tracks. Openness and transparency are commendable but they have a downside. A bird seeing a cat, for example, wants to warn the neighbours. If it calls out, however, it will draw attention to itself, not a good idea with an enemy on the prowl. Keeping quiet seems the wiser option. Besides, if the cat takes some other bird, a territory may be up for grabs and competition for food or mates will be reduced. ‘Who’ll get his job now’, the deceased’s work colleagues whisper at the funeral? Self interest, it seems, dictates that birds ‘sing dumb’ when danger threatens. But they don’t. Why?
Later on, we will be celebrating Ireland's best-known dolphin, the legendary Fungi, who lives down around Dingle. He's been there 30 years, and is absolutely thriving.
However, a story emerged recently which is a little sad. Another species of dolphin, the striped dolphin, seems to be suffering in Mediterranean waters.
Since the beginning of this year, over 100 dolphins carcasses have washed up on the beaches of western Italy in what is suspected to be an outbreak of "dolphin measles".
Nicola Hodgins is the International Projects Manager with Whale and Dolphin Conservation, in the UK, and she joins us on the phone today...
Hedgerows and the Law
Hedgerows in Ireland form important features in maintaining wildlife diversity and in establishing wildlife "corridors", particularly for birds. The commonest nesting birds found in hedgerows such as wrens, dunnocks, robin and willow warblers depend entirely on insects during the Summer months. In general untrimmed, thorned hedgerows containing species such as blackthorn, whitethorn and holly are favoured by birds as they provide ample food and also serve as a protection against predators.
Section 40 of the Wildlife Act, 1976, as amended by Section 46 of the 2000 Act, provides protection for hedgerows by providing that it shall be an offence for a person 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. It is important that, where possible, necessary work to hedgerows is carried out outside this period.
It is possible in most cases to schedule and carry out necessary work to hedgerows outside this period. The legislation makes provision for works (other than road or other construction works) to be carried out for reasons of public health and safety under the authority of any Minister or a body established by statute that lead to the destruction of vegetation. There is also a provision to enable the Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government to request from the relevant Minister or body details of any such works together with a statement of the public health and safety factors involved.
It shall not be an offence to destroy vegetation in the ordinary course of agriculture or forestry. Also it shall not be illegal to destroy vegetation while preparing or clearing a site for lawful building or construction works.
It is the policy of the Minister to prosecute for offences under section 40 of the Wildlife Acts 1976 and 2000 and successful prosecutions have been taken under this section in recent years. Members of the public are encouraged to contact their local wildlife ranger and report instances where hedgerows are being destroyed during the prohibited period.
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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