Mooney, Thursday September 26th 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...

The new Diana movie: is it a tedious monstrosity or triumphant masterpiece? More listeners audition to try and prove that they are the best shower singer in Ireland. We find out about the bachelor villages in China where single women are in short supply, and we go speed-dating Irish-Chinese style!

Mooney's Singers In The Shower

Mooney's Singers In The Shower

Last week, to celebrate RTÉ’s Big Music Week, we launched our competition to find Ireland's Best Singer in the Shower! To enter, all you had to do is make an audio recording of yourself singing in the shower.

The closing date for receipt of entries closed last night at midnight - and we had such a deluge of late entries in that today, we bring you a sample of some of your sassy shower songs!

THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR RTÉ.IE. AND THE COMPETITIONS TERMS APPLY TO THIS COMPETITION. Entry to the competition confirms your acceptance of these competition terms and conditions, and terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions for RTÉ.ie, and click here to read competition terms and conditions.

The prize for Ireland's Best Singer in the Shower, as decided by our panel of judges, will be announced on Mooney, on Thursday, October 3rd 2013. The judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Please note that if you submit a recording, RTÉ reserve the right to use this material as it sees fit in accordance with the terms and conditions for rté.ie and the recordings shall be deemed "content" for the purposes of application of the terms of clause 9 of such terms and conditions.

And for one lucky winner, we have one, very special prize: a Yamaha Clavinova CLP4440 Electric Piano!

Niall Walton, from Walton's Music, with the Yamaha Clavinova Electric Piano that will be won by Ireland's Best Singer in the Shower!

Movie Review: Diana

Movie Review: Diana

For a certain generation, there was a question regularly posed at dinner parties and social functions, to establish a point of conversation. The question was: "Where were you when JFK was shot?"

But for the children of that generation, people who have grown up with a 24-hour news cycle on television and radio, the question became something different: "Where were you when Princess Diana died?"

On August 31st 1997, the "People's Princess" was killed in a car crash in Paris. Such was the shock and devastation following that incident, many people simply couldn’t accept Diana's passing was a result of a tragic road traffic accident. And inevitably, the conspiracy theorists make their voices heard.

Whatever your view on the car crash that killed Diana, Princess of Wales, her friend, Dodi al Fayed, and her driver, Henri Paul, one thing is for certain: the memory of Diana is still very much alive and her ability to generate headlines is still very much undiminished.

That ability has been taken to a new level now, with the release of a new biograhical movie called Diana. Starring Naomi Watts as Diana, the film focuses on one of the lesser-known aspects of Diana's life: a budding romance with Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan.

Derek recently attended a preview screening of the movie, and he gives us his thoughts on the film today... One of his comments is that he thinks that Diana, as portrayed by Naomi Watts, looks a bit like Sally Webster - what do you think? Text 51551 and let us know!

To find out more about the movie, visit

Chinese Bachelor Villages

Men who flee the sound of wedding bells as if it were the death knell should spare a thought for their counter parts in China. According to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, there will be 24 million more men than women by the end of the decade. And for them, getting married has become an unattainable dream…

Lucy Ash, who is a current affairs reporter with the BBC, recently went to China to explore how villages of these bachelors – known as bare branches – are rapidly spreading throughout the country, and she joins us from the BBC studios in London today to tell us what she found...

For more information about the BBC World Service Assignment programme Matchmaking In Modern China, visit

Irish-Chinese Speed-Dating

Last week, we organised a Irish-Chinese Speed-Dating event in Noble House Chinese Restaurant in Malahide, in Dublin.

Mooney reporter Brenda Donohue started off by speaking to owners Daniel and Diana Choi. Daniel is originally from Hong Kong, Diana is from Dublin, and they met 37 years ago.

Diana and Daniel Choi

Diana and Daniel Choi

Diana and Daniel Choi with Brenda Donohue

Oh no, two girls like the same guy!

Brenda talks to the speed-daters

Brenda talks to the speed-daters

Brenda talks to the speed-daters


Brenda talks to the speed-daters

Speed Daters

Speed Daters

Derek with our speed daters

Mooney's Sarah with one of our speed daters

Speed-dating at Noble House

Our speed-daters at Noble House

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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