The robin, not the turkey, is the real Christmas bird; you'll find him on cards, cakes and Christmas trees. But is Robin Redbreast having us on? Is he really the friendly and gentle little fellow he seems? Does he deserve his special Christmas place? Dr. Richard Collins, scientific adviser to Mooney Goes Wild, investigates! To read more about this special documentary, and to listen to the programme, click here.
On Mooney today...
Mooney today comes from Derry, City of Culture 2013, where Derek will find out just how much things have changed there in recent times. He’ll meet the local businesswoman whose car booster seat invention has hit the big time in the US, and we find out about the intrepid traveller who has been all over the world – on the proceeds of competition winnings!
Mooney has teamed up with the Sunday World (www.sundayworld.com) to give one very special couple a second honeymoon! We are looking for Ireland's favourite couple - and that couple could win a dream trip to San Francisco, worth a whopping €10,000!!!
It’s the second honeymoon of a lifetime – so who better to send on it than Ireland’s favourite couple! That’s why today we are launching the search for the nation’s most deserving bride and groom as voted by the public.
Your favourite Sunday paper, the Sunday World, is teaming up with the country’s favourite radio presenter, Derek Mooney, to find 'Mooney's Honeymooners'.
One deserving couple will win the €10,000 second honeymoon of a lifetime to the West Coast of America, courtesy of our partners in Sutter Home and BudgetAir.ie.
Whether you’re a newlywed, or celebrating 50 or more years together, you can enter. And you can nominate yourself or a deserving couple you know.
All you need to do is send us a wedding picture of the couple and a brief description why they should be Mooney’s €10,000 Honeymooners. A public vote on the Sunday World website will decide the nation's top 10 and then a panel of Sunday World and Mooney judges will pick a winner. And voting is free!
To enter simply go to the Sunday World website - www.sundayworld.com - to submit a picture and your details. And you could be winging your way to San Francisco on business-class flights to a five-star hotel with €1,000 spending money!
HOW IT ALL WORKS
We’ve made it easy to enter, vote and share your favourites on Facebook or Twitter. Log on to www.sundayworld.com/competitions to submit your wedding picture and enter your details.
Once your picture is verified and goes live, then any member of the public can then vote for the couple to be our winner.
You can enter your picture anytime before Wednesday, November 20th, but as voting starts as soon as your picture is approved, the earlier you enter, the sooner your picture can start collecting public votes.
Voting for round one started on Sunday, November 10th, and continues until noon on Friday, November 22nd. Voting is free. Votes are limited to one per minute per person to avoid automatic voting.
The top 10 pictures as selected by the public vote will progress to round two. The top five will then be selected by a panel of judges and be interviewed on Mooney on RTÉ Radio 1. The top five will also be published in the Sunday World on December 1st, and the winner will be announced in the paper on December 22nd.
DAY ONE: Two business-class flights from Dublin to San Francisco. Accommodation in five-star hotel in San Francisco. DAY TWO: Free time in San Francisco. Accommodation in five-star hotel in San Francisco. DAY THREE: Hop-on, hop-off bus tour of San Francisco. Accommodation in five-star hotel in San Francisco. DAY FOUR: Sutter Home VIP winery tour and tasting, Napa Valley. Accommodation in exclusive winery accommodation. DAY FIVE: Explore Napa Valley area. Dinner at Sutter Home winery. Accommodation in exclusive winery accommodation. DAY SIX: Bike rental in San Francisco. Accommodation in five-star hotel in San Francisco. DAY SEVEN: Two business-class flights from San Francisco to Dublin Plus €1,000 spending money
Runners-up will win a case of Sutter Home White Zinfandel
T&Cs for the Sunday World competition: - The prize is strictly non-transferable, non-exchangeable and includes the following: Return flights for two from Dublin to San Francisco, Club World class. Four nights in a five-star hotel in San Francisco (details tbc) and two nights in the Sutter Home Winery, Napa Valley. A VIP tour of the Sutter Home winery with tasting and dinner is also included. - Also included is Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour for two people - Bike Rental for one day for two people - Bookings must be made a minimum of two months before the departure date. - All flights are subject to availability from BudgetAir.ie. Blackout periods apply including all bank holidays. - Travel Period: Feb 17 - June 24, 2014 and Aug 23 - Oct 31, 2014 - The winner must hold a valid passport and be over 18 years of age.
The ninth concert in our hugely popular series of Mooney Tunes will be a variety Christmas concert with various singers and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. Listeners requests will be read out and their songs will be played. There will be love songs, songs you will sing along to, beautiful classical music and lots of Christmassy tunes to get you in the festive mood a week before Christmas!
The Mooney Tunes concerts have been extremely successful, and tickets often sell-out within hours of going on sale.
The benefit of buying the tickets in person at the theatre box office is that there is no service charge to pay. Tickets are priced from €14.50 and go up to €20, €28, €34 and €39.50, depending on where you are sitting.
Tickets are also on sale online from Ticketmaster.ie, Ticketmaster outlets and from the Ticketmaster phonelines:
Tickets bought from Ticketmaster.ie online or on the phone are subject to a 12.5% service charge so, for example, that would make the €14.50 ticket, the cheapest ticket, €16.60. If you buy your tickets in person from a Ticketmaster outlet there will be a €2.50 flat fee service charge, and there is no service charge whatsoever if you buy them in person at the box office here at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre.
But whichever way you choose to get your tickets for Mooney Tunes 9, we suggest that you do it as soon as possible after 3pm, when they go on sale! It's the perfect pre-Christmas concert - but tickets will go early, so get yours as soon as you can to avoid disappointment! For more information about the concert, visit www.bordgaisenergytheatre.ie/index.php/artist/mooney-tunes.
BubbleBum Car Booster Seat
We just recently sold out our ninth Mooney Tunes concert for December 16th in Dublin’s Bord Gáis Energy Theatre - and a phrase we liked to use at the time was 'bums on seats' – so two thousand bums will be on seats that night and we have a fantastic concert in store.
Well, we're talking about 'bums on seats' again today in Derry. And in particular, the 'BubbleBum' seat. The 'BubbleBum' is the world's first inflatable car booster seat, and it's set to go on sale in Walmart in the US. In Ireland, it's currently available in Heatons, and is set to launch in Boots next year. Booster seats are legally required by the E.U. for any child between 4-11 (or over 135cm). And the woman behind the concept of the BubbleBum is Derry woman Grainne Kelly, who joins Derek today to tell us all about it!
There's hardly been a dull moment here in Derry over the past year, where there has been a feast of arts, entertainment, music and education as part of the City of Culture activities. Pop stars like Bruno Mars and Olly Murs have been in town, as has U.S. actor and director Sam Shepherd - and The Royal Ballet.
There have been concerts, pageants, festivals of dance, community activities and initiatives. The Fleadh Cheoil came north of the border here for the first time, and one of the worlds' most presigious art exhibitions - The Turner Prize - is currently taking place right now.
The fact that the programme is broadcasting from the former army barracks in Ebrington is extraordinary in itself. Twenty years ago, if you had suggested to citizens that they'd be attending rock concerts here, they simply would not have believed you. (To learn more about Ebrington, visit www.cityofculture2013.com/venues/ebrington).
But it's not just about the big events. The whole point of City of Culture is that once the year is over, the legacy it leaves behind should be one of both social and economic regeneration.
BBC Radio Foyle broadcaster Mark Patterson joins Derek in studio to tell us more about the impact of the City of Culture on Derry...
Derry woman Janice Doherty has had the most wonderful time on holidays all around the world. She has been to the Maldives, to the Ryder Cup in Detroit (5 star all the way), and on a family holiday to Florida, including a trip to Disneyland.
The thing about Janice’s holidays though, is that they didn’t cost her a single penny. She won them all! Mooney reporter Katriona McFadden went along to meet Janice and her husband Nigel to find out more...
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 (www.npws.ie) 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 www.irishwildlifematters.ie