Mooney, Monday November 25th 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...

What puts your teeth on edge? The sound of nails on a blackboard? The feeling of cotton wool? Derek finds out why certain things make us flinch inside! We go on a musical journey with artist Andy Dolph, who puts images from space to the music of The Planets. Conor Faughnan from the AA tells us why tyres are the cause of so many NCT failures. And Brenda surprises the first of four finalists in our Second Honeymoon competition!

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

The Planets & Andy Dolph

If you click to play the above video, you'll hear the majestic music that is the Star Wars Main Theme, composed by John Williams.

The Aviva Stadium wasn’t the only busy sports grounds this weekend. On the hallowed grounds of Croke Park, there were two days of open casting looking for the male and female lead roles in the next sequence of the Star Wars sci-fi franchise.

Episode Seven will be the first in a new trilogy of films being made by Disney, after the studio bought all rights to the long-running space saga last year. Producers said they are looking for a "beautiful, smart, athletic" actress to play a girl in her late teens and a "handsome, smart, athletic" man in his late teens or early twenties.

This Thursday evening, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra is looking to take you on an out-of-this-world journey through the universe. They are using music inspired by the awesomeness of space - including a rare chance to hear the entire Star Wars Suite.

Another highlight of the concert is very unique. As the orchestra performs The Planets by composer Gustav Holst, there will be a technician projecting images of the universe to accompany the music.

He is Andy Dolph, sound engineer and visual projection specialist. He has been flown over from the United States, especially for this concert, and today he joins Derek in studio...

Stargrazer - The Comet Encounter, featuring music by Holst, John Williams & Arthur Bliss, will be performed by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra this Thursday, November 28th, at 8pm, at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. Tickets cost from €10 to €38. For more details about the concert, click here.

Mooney-Sunday World Second Honeymoon Finalists Competition - Couple 1

Brenda Donohue goes to meet the first of our four 'finalist' couples in our Second Honeymoon competition: Jackie and Alan...

Jackie and Alan

Jackie and Alan with Brenda Donohue 

What Sets Our Teeth On Edge?

What Sets Our Teeth On Edge?

What's the one noise that you find totally unbearable? For many people, it's the sound of nails scraping down a blackboard...

Isn't it just the worst noise? Does it make your hairs stand on end? Why DO some noises give us goosebumps and what are people’s pet 'grates'? Why does Derek hate cotton wool so much? Why is the dentist’s drill and the sound of a knife squeaking on a plate so unpleasant?

Mooney reporter Brenda Donohue has been out about asking people about what sets their teeth on edge. And Dr Michael Keane is a Psychology Lecturer and Neuroscientist based in Dublin City University.  He told Mooney reporter Katriona McFadden what happens in the brain when we hear an unpleasant noise or feel something that 'grates' - and why we get goosebumps...

Back To Front Tyres

8000 cars have failed their NCT because their tyres were fitted the wrong way around. To explain more, we are joined by Conor Faughnan, Director of Consumer Affairs with AA Ireland... Click here to read the Road Safety Authority's guide to tyres.

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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