Thursday, May 9th 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 talk to an Irishman who decided that he needed cosmetic surgery to make him look as young as his girlfriend, we find out why the Rory Gallagher festival in Donegal has become so popular, and we hear about the upcoming Bioblitz event where scientists and amateur naturalists compete to record mammals, plants, bugs and new species around Ireland!

Rory Gallagher Tribute Festival

Rory Gallagher Tribute Festival

Regular listeners to this programme will have heard Derek mention the name D4 Dave on more than one occasion! D4 Dave, as he’s affectionately known, is a former researcher on this programme and he also fronts a Rory Gallagher Tribute band.

D4 Dave is Dave McHugh. His band is the Dave McHugh Band. They’ll be performing at the Rory Gallagher Festival in Ballyshannon from Thursday, May 30th to Sunday, June 2nd, and he's back in studio today to perform a tune or two and tell us all about the festival!

For more information about the festival, visit

And for more information about the Dave McHugh Band, visit!

RTÉ Goes Wild: BioBlitz 2013

RTÉ Goes Wild: BioBlitz 2013

A very unusual championship is taking place in Ireland this month - but we’re not talking about football or chowder chomping or song contests.

This competition features scientists and amateur naturalists in search of the flora and fauna of the Irish landscape!

Liam Lysaght is Director of the National Biodiversity Centre in Waterford - and it's from our Waterford studios that he joins us today, to explain more...

The Bioblitz will take place over a 24-hour period, from 5pm on May 24th to 5pm on May 25th, and in four different locations: Wicklow Mountains National Park, the Burren National Park, Lough Key Forest Park, in Co. Roscommon, and Colebrooke Estate, Co. Fermanagh.

Volunteers have to record as many species as possible in the allotted time, identifying everything from the largest mammals and the tallest trees to the smallest bugs in the undergrowth.

For more, visit

For more information on the RTÉ Goes Wild strand, visit If you'd like to download a schedule for all the different radio and TV programmes that will be part of RTÉ Goes Wild, click here.

Bike Locks

Bike Locks

Unfortunately, if you're a cyclist, one of the 'givens' (particularly if you live in a city) is that you will have your bike stolen at some point. And then it’s 'Sayonara' and chances are you will never be re-united with your 'rothar' again.

But there is a lot you can do to fight back against the bike thieves – Mooney reporter Katriona McFadden has been finding out more…

The Dublin Cycling Campaign are a lobby group, who have made an online video called Avoid The Thief. It features bike mechanic Gareth Muldowney, who is shown walking around Dublin streets showing bikes that were locked well and bikes that were locked badly. 

So Katriona went to meet up with Gareth in Dublin to find out just how easy it is to break the locks on the e-bike of Mooney's Broadcast Co-Ordinator Sinéad Renshaw...

Gareth shows how easy it is to break a bike lock

It's much easier than you might think to saw through a bike chain!

Not even a heavy chain like this is secure enough, warns Gareth


Bike mechanic Gareth Muldowney with his cutting tools!

Botox For Men

Botox For Men

We talk to an Irishman who decided that he needed cosmetic surgery to make him look as young as his girlfriend, we find out why the Rory Gallagher festival in Donegal has become so popular, and we hear about the upcoming Bioblitz event where scientists and amateur naturalists compete to record mammals, plants, bugs and new species around Ireland!

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


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Presenter: Derek Mooney


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