Thursday, May 2nd 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!

On Mooney today...

On Mooney today...

Brenda Donohue reports from the pre-Eurovision Mooney House Party with Abbaesque, Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh joins Derek in studio, and Katriona McFadden reports on our search for Ireland's dirtiest pillow!

RTÉ Weather Competition

RTÉ Weather Competition

It's so nice to have a sunny day... it would make you hope that our weather presenters will soon be showing us those warm weather fronts after the news in the evenings!

Nuala Carey is with Derek in studio today - she's not here to give us any forecasts, however, but to tell us about the RTÉ Weather photo competition, which is going to have a special theme this summer season!

As part of 'RTÉ Goes Wild', they are using the theme of 'wild' and asking for entries of pictures of flora and fauna.

People can enter by sending their pictures to Details are also in this week's RTÉ Guide.  Entries close at midnight on May 24th. For more information about the competition, and guidelines, visit If you'd like to follow the RTÉ weather gang on Twitter, then the handle is @WeatherRTE.

Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh

Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh

Normally when people talk about their trip to Venice, they tell stories of the magnificent setting of the ancient city, which has been beautifully crafted since the tenth century BC!

They might talk about the romance of La Serenissima – the most Serene Republic – with its winding canals and little streets and bell towers... the glory of San Marco’s Square, the fabulous selection of fish and fruit in Rialto market, and the range and quality of the works of art that cannot be matched the world over...

But when Derek talked to Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh about her recent trip to Venice, her report was not so gushing... her experience of The Floating City was one of rats and flashers!

She joins Derek in studio to chat about her Venetian visit...

Next weekend, Bláthnaid will be taking part in a walk in aid of Pieta House. Starting at 4am, and crossing the line just as dawn is breaking, Darkness into Light is an annual 5km walk/run, is celebrating its 5th year. It is happening on Saturday, May 11th 2013 at 20 venues across Ireland, and you can find out more at

Bláthnaid is working on her series Moment Of Truth, in which she talks to people who have made difficult and life-changing religious and ethical decisions.

If you have a story you'd like to share with Bláthnaid and her Moment Of Truth team, then e-mail

Stories From The States, with Lenore Skenazy

Stories From The States, with Lenore Skenazy

Events in the United States have dominated the news for all the wrong reasons recently.

Spectators at the Boston marathon could never have predicted that the horror of that day would literally tear families apart. Two bombs exploded with devastating effect, killing 3 including a young boy and injuring 260 others.

We're joined on the line today by Mooney’s eyes and ears on the ground in the USA, writer and broadcaster Lenore Skenazy, blogger with

Lenore also chats about helicopter parenting for pets, the fallout from the Boston bombing and the culture of fear, being suspended from school for having a Swiss Army knife, pop-tarts in the shape of guns, and cupcakes with soldiers!

Follow-Up: Ireland's Dirtiest Pillow

Last week we launched our challenge to find "Ireland’s Dirtiest Pillow".

We had David Woolfson, founder of Irish company SleepAngel Pillows, here in studio. His pillow has been proven to be a 100% barrier against viruses, mould, microbes, allergens and bacteria.

And he scared us half to death with tales of all the ‘nasties’ that can live inside your pillow!!

And he offered Mooney listeners a straight swap. He said "if you have an old or dirty pillow and you’d like to get rid of it, send us a photo, we will come and take it, send it to a lab to be tested - and we will give you a brand new SleepAngel pillow in exchange"!

And you sent us LOADS of photographs…. Of old, icky, stained, pillows

So we selected some lucky listeners, and their pillows are currently in the Airmid laboratories - and we’ll be revealing the results of what was in their pillows next Friday, May 3rd.

But there was one email that really pulled at our heartstrings…

Liz O’Reilly, from Moyne in Co. Longford, was one of the first people to e-mail in with a photo of her pillow.

As you can see, Liz is hugging her feather pillow, holding onto it for dear life. It's not a very beautiful pillow - brown with stains - but Liz’s expression says it all. She LOVES this pillow. And in her e-mail she explained that she’s 35, she thinks the pillow is 34. The pillow has gone everywhere with her, even on her honeymoon!

Katriona McFadden went to meet Liz at her home in Moyne in Longford to meet Liz, and her pillow, before it was taken to be analysed...

Liz’s pillow, along with all the other pillows, are currently being microscopically examined by Airmid Laboratories in Dublin.

Tomorrow, May 3rd, we will be bringing you the results of what was found in the pillows!

Mooney House Party with ABBAesque!

Last night, the place to be was Palmerstown Drive in Dublin and it was the location for a very a very lively Mooney House Party!

ABBAesque preformed in Ann Battersby's home and it was wigs, jumpsuits and platforms all the way!

Our very own Dancing Queen Brenda Donohue went along to hear Ann and her guests say Thank You For The Music!

For more information on ABBAesque, visit

Bee Talk In Roscommon This Weekend

Bee Talk In Roscommon This Weekend

It looks like we’re going to have a fairly nice bank holiday weekend, so if you happen to be in Roscommon this weekend, you might just like to pop along to the Roscommon Lamb and Food Fair and attend a very interesting talk given by our very own bee expert, Philip McCabe - President of the European Commission for Apimondia…

The Roscommon Lamb Festival started yesterday and runs until Monday, May 6th. There are lots of farmer/sheep-related events taking place but there is also a Best of Roscommon Food Trail which includes a visit to an apiary. This tour will take place tomorrow. They are also setting up a GIY demonstration garden in the square in Roscommon on the Saturday and Sunday with an observation beehive and there will be an emphasis on the importance of bees in the pollination of food crops. There will be examples of biennial crops such as onions, leeks, turnips, carrots, parsnips and beetroot in their second year as they flower and form seed heads.

On Saturday morning at 11am (approx) Philip will be standing at an apiary and will be giving talks to walking groups as they pass by. This is free and he’s available to answer any bee questions that people may have.

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