Mooney, Friday November 22nd 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 today...

On Mooney Goes Wild today...

We hear the remarkable story of how farmers in Kenya chased down and captured the world's fastest land animal: the Cheetah. Matthew Jebb, Director of the National Botanic Gardens, celebrates the trees and plants of a particularly beautiful late autumn. Prof John O'Halloran tells us what we might expect from the 6th Irish Ornithological Research Conference this weekend. And have we discovered Ireland's oldest pet bird? A 30-year-old rook in Longford!

Mooney's Honeymooners, with the Sunday World!


Mooney has teamed up with the Sunday World ( to give one very special couple a second honeymoon! We looked for Ireland's favourite couple - and that couple could win a dream trip to San Francisco, worth a whopping €10,000!!!

The winning couple will be revealed in the Sunday World on December 22nd, and on Mooney on Christmas Day.  Good luck to everybody who entered!

Mooney Tunes 9

On Monday, December 16th, Mooney Tunes 9 will take place at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin!

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 outlets and from the Ticketmaster phonelines:

0818 719 377 - Republic of Ireland Customers
0844 847 2455 - Northern Ireland Customers
00 353 1 456 9569 - International Customers

Tickets bought from 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

Extended Autumn Beauty

Extended Autumn Beauty

It's been an exceptionally mild year, despite the recent chill in the air. And Autumn 2013, in particular, seems to have gone on forever! Changes in weather patterns always have implications across the spectrum of flora and fauna. But one of the best things about this mild autumn is the spectacular range of colours we are enjoying the moment from our trees and plants. It truly is a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!

We are lucky here in the grounds of RTÉ, in the company of some stunning trees. But if you can afford to take a moment from your busy schedule, do stop and take note of the sheer beauty of these autumnal colours. Honestly, they would make Monet, or Gaugin, or Van Gough, or any of the great Impressionists swoon!

Matthew Jebb, Director of the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin, to help us celebrate this visual feast!

Kenyans Outrun Cheetah

Kenyans Outrun Cheetah

If you follow marathons worldwide, you will know that Kenyans continuously cross the line first. They are fast - and fantastic over long distances. And if you’re a wildlife lover, you’ll know that the CHEETAH is the fastest land animal, reaching speeds of 120 kilometres per hour or about 75 miles an hour… But can a Kenyan outrun a cheetah?

A story reached us this week of four Kenyan farmers who were so fed up of cheetahs eating their goats, that they decided to chase them. For FOUR MILES! But they won! They captured the cheetahs and brought them home, alive, to claim the compensation due to them for their dead goats.

The cheetah is a fascinating creature and to tell us more about them we have Dr. Laurie Marker on the line. She is the Founder of the Cheetah Conservation Fund and she joins us today from Namibia... For more information about the Cheetah Conservation Fund, visit, and to watch the speech that Laurie Marker gave at at TEDx Portland, entitled What If We Lost The Cheetah?, click play on the video below... 

Ireland's Oldest Pet Bird?

We're wondering if we’ve found the oldest pet bird in Ireland! 

Ester Göbl with her rook Caw-Caw

On Sunday, Mooney Goes Wild reporter Terry Flanagan went to Longford and met with great-grandmother Ester Göbl, who rescued a rook thirty years ago and has kept it as a pet, whom she called Caw-Caw, ever since...

So is Ester’s rook the oldest pet bird in Ireland? If you know of an older one, well we’re all ears here on Mooney Goes Wild. Please do let us know - during the duration of the programme (15:00 - 16:30), you can text us on 51551, or e-mail or tweet us anytime: or @MooneyShow!

6th Irish Ornithological Research Conference

6th Irish Ornithological Research Conference

Every week on Mooney Goes Wild, our esteemed panel of experts dazzle and mesmerise the nation with their knowledge of all things botanical, zoological, ornithological, and environmental.

But they don't actually pluck this knowledge out of thin air! Richard, Eanna and Terry are obsessive about keeping up with the latest scientific research from all over the globe, as are the Mooney Goes Wild team in general!

And this weekend, the research focus is on Cork, where scientists and practitioners with a common love of birds will come together to discuss the latest research and future direction of ornithological studies.

Professor John O'Halloran is the Head of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, at University College Cork, and he has been a key figure in bringing this gathering together.

John joins the team from RTÉ's Cork studio today, to tell us what we might expect from the conference...

The 6th Irish Ornithological Research Conference takes place at the Western Gateway Building, in University College Cork this weekend, November 23rd & 24th.   

This conference has been organised by the School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Science (BEES) at UCC, with sponsorship from Environmental Protection Agency, Atkins and the Marine Institute.

Pre-registration for this event has now closed. If you wish to attend you can register at the venue from 9.00am on Saturday November 23rd. Payment by cash or cheque only on the day. For more information about the conference, visit

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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