Mooney, Monday October 7th 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 Goes Wild, with Marty Morrissey...

On Mooney Goes Wild, with Marty Morrissey...

We find out how and why to vote for the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in an online poll of the world's best orchestras, meet the country’s latest hurling heart-throb, Clare’s Shane O’Donnell, hear about Pavarotti's posthumous BRIT award, announce the first winner of our Fuel Your School competition, and find out all about the black swans of Bray!

Vote For The RTÉ Concert Orchestra!

Vote For The RTÉ Concert Orchestra!

Now anyone who has heard the RTÉ Concert Orchestra doesn’t need convincing as to how good they are! We’ve seen and heard them in action at our series of Mooney Tunes concerts and have they always brought the house down!

But we were pleasantly surprised today to hear the rest of the world appears to have gotten word about our fab Orchestra!

A poll to find the World’s Favourite Orchestra on has the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, in 7th place. Yes, the Orchestra is storming up the charts, no less – last week they were at number 26.

So if you want to help push them a little closer to the top spot visit - the poll closes on Monday!

Clare's Hurling’s Heartthrob Shane O'Donnell!

Clare's Hurling’s Heartthrob Shane O'Donnell!

Just nine days ago, on the grounds of Croke Park for the All-Ireland Hurling final replay. Shane O’Donnell had just nine touches of the ball in the whole game - and he scored 3 goals and 1 point – of an overall score of 3 goals and 3 points - in the opening 19 minutes!

We're delighted that the Justin Bieber of Irish hurling is sitting in studio with us today!

Pavarotti Receives Classical BRIT Posthumously

The above video is for the song Miss Sarajevo, by a band called Passengers. Essentially, it's U2 and Brian Eno, with a guest vocal performance from Luciano Pavarotti.

It was a massive hit all over Europe and it’s actually cited by Bono as his favourite U2 song of all time. Would Luciano Pavarotti have felt the same? Was it his favourite recording of all time? Well, in a recording career that spanned four decades, that's probably doubtful.

Pavarotti recorded with some of the greatest orchestras, the greatest sopranos and the greatest opera companies of the 20th century. And recently, it was announced that he was to receive a posthumous Classical Brit Award for his extraordinary achievements.

Mooney producer Olan McGowan is in studio to take a look back at his career...

Fuel Your School: Connaught Winner

The first of our winners in the Fuel Your School competition, in association with Electric Ireland and Green Star, represent Connaught. The winning school is Mullaghroe National School, near Gorteen, in Co. Sligo. The school was nominated by one of the pupils, 11-year-old Muirne O Donnell, who wrote the original letter to Mooney. The school only has 37 pupils, and two teachers; almost all of the students come from within two miles of the school.

This morning, Mooney Goes Wild reporter Terry Flanagan, who was the Connaught judge, went to Mullaghroe National School to meet Muirne, headteacher Kevin Gallagher, and all the pupils in the school to handover the cheque of €5000 for their energy costs for the next year...

The pupils of Mullaghroe National School

Headteacher Kevin Gallagher and Muirne O Donnell with the cheque for the school

Mooney Goes Wild reporter Terry Flanagan and Muirne O Donnell with the cheque for the school

And tomorrow, we'll be announcing the ULSTER winner of our Fuel Your School competition!

Black Swans In Bray Harbour

We love receiving your wildlife photos here on Mooney Goes Wild. And it goes in cycles. Last month we were getting lots of caterpillar pictures. This month we’re getting lots of 'spider' pictures.

But, a very unusual photograph caught our eyes on Wednesday.

When we opened the attachment we saw some swans. Nothing very unusual in that, you might say – but these were black swans! Two of them, in a pair!

This is a fairly rare occurrence, and the photographer who took the snaps, Ray Beggan of, joins us on the phone today to tell is about them...

To see more of Ray's pics, visit his website:

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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Music Played on the Show

Send In The Clowns

Send In The Clowns

Rté Concert Orchestra


Drops Of Jupiter

Drops Of Jupiter



Miss Sarajevo

Miss Sarajevo

The Passengers: Brian Eno; Bono; The Edge


Che Gelida Manina

Che Gelida Manina

Luciano Pavarotti


Nessun Dorma

Nessun Dorma

Luciano Pavarotti


Prelude To Carmen

Prelude To Carmen

Rté Concert Orchestra




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Presenter: Derek Mooney


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