Mooney, Wednesday December 11th 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!



Derek Mooney with his unique mix of conversation, information, advice and entertainment

On Mooney today...

John Spillane performs his new single with some help from the regulars in his local bar, and we ask if the mother-in-law is really misunderstood or whether she deserves her reputation as the butt of the joke...

John Spillane & The Ferry Arms

A tiny pub in the picturesque harbour village of Passage West in Co Cork is the setting for a video that’s rapidly clocking up Youtube hits. 

The Ferry Arms is singer-songwriter John Spillane’s local pub – and the video of his song features a colourful cast of locals – including soprano Cara O’Sullivan.

John Spillane is in our Cork studio now to tell us all about it!

Godless Congregation

When The Life Of Brian came out in 1979, it was heavily criticised by many religious groups. It was called blasphemous. It was banned from public screening in some European countries, including Ireland and Norway.

But whatever your religious view of the movie, one thing is beyond dispute. It was, unashamedly, a searing indictment of organised religion.

1979 was also the year that Pope John Paul visited Ireland. One million people came out to see him in the Phoenix Park. If Pope Francis came to visit now, would the numbers be as high?

One man who definitely wouldn't be there is Abie Philbin Bowman. Apart from being a comedian, actor and writer, he is a committed atheist. And he's also involved in something called the "Sunday Assembly", which is a sort of gathering of non-believers, offering an alternative to traditional Sunday gatherings, like the Mass.

Abie is in studio today to explain what this is all about...

The next Sunday Assembly will take place this Sunday, December 15th, at noon, in the Exchange in Temple Bar, Dublin.

The Mother-In-Law

"Did you hear the one about the Kerryman who had a brain transplant?" The brain rejected him... Haw, Haw, Haw...

"Paddy Irishman, Paddy Scotsman and Paddy Englishman walked into a bar".

No, I’m not going to tell you another joke about the usual targets. Let’s leave the put upon Kerryman and Paddy Irishman alone.... and as for that poor old chicken and his hilarious attempts to cross the road. Let’s not go there either.

But believe it or not neither the Kerryman nor Paddy Irishman are the comedians favourite targets ... That honour goes to someone many of you know all too well: the mother-in-law. What sort of a career would Les Dawson have had without his poor old mother-in-law?

So does the mother-in-law get a bit of a raw deal? In a moment we’ll speak to Katy Rink whose new book is called Managing MIL – You And Your Mother-In-Law – For Better, Or For Worse?, but first, our researcher Michele Browne went out and about on the streets to find out what people really think of this most put-upon of women...

Managing MIL – You And Your Mother-In-Law – For Better, Or For Worse?, by Katie Rink, is published by Peridot Press. The ISBN is 978-1909-717-008 and the RRP is £6.99.

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

The Ferry Arms

The Ferry Arms

John Spillane And Friends


Passage West

Passage West

John Spillane


Life In An Irish Town

Life In An Irish Town

John Spillane


Willie Mcbride

Willie Mcbride

Harvey Cousins




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Presenter: Derek Mooney


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