Mooney, Thursday December 12th 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...

Gerald Kean relives memories of Christmas past with toys from an age gone by. Derek talks to Catholic priest Fr. Iggy O'Donovan, who is basing this week’s sermon on a Mooney discussion about atheism. And what do you do when you smash the family heirloom? Brenda sets out on a mission to replace the irreplaceable...

Sermon Inspired By 'Mooney'

Sermon Inspired By 'Mooney'

We had lots of response into the programme following Derek's conversation yesterday with Abie Philbin Bowman. Abie is a committed atheist and he was telling us about the "Sunday Assembly" he attends, which is a sort of gathering of non-believers, offering an alternative to Sunday Mass.

We got lots of reaction into the programme, and one of the responses was the following e-mail:

"As a Catholic priest I found your chat with Abie Philbin Bowman riveting and thought provoking. I have next Sunday’s sermon thanks to you."

It was sent from Fr. Iggy O’Donovan, and he joins us this afternoon from RTÉs Limerick studios...

Nostalgic Toys & Gerald Kean

Nostalgic Toys & Gerald Kean

The last time that celebrity lawyer Gerald Kean was with us (back in August) he was recovering from a near death experience. But thankfully, that’s all in the past now and he’s fit and well, and looking forward to a busy Christmas.

So seeing as it’s Christmas, and people are starting to think about gifts and perhaps recalling toys they got as a child, we decided to send Gerald on a trip down memory lane...

The Little Museum of Dublin has a display of nostalgic toys among it’s collection of artefacts and memorabilia. Gerald went along there this morning and saw some toys from yesteryear in the company of Simon O’Connor, the Museum’s curator...

The Little Museum of Dublin is located at 15, St Stephen's Green. For more information about The Little Museum, visit

Chamber Choir Ireland

The nice thing about this time of year is that you don’t need any excuse to welcome a choir onto the programme, so we're delighted to welcome onto the programme today the Chamber Choir Ireland, conducted by Paul Hillier.

The choir perform Away In A Manger and Ding Dong Merrily On High.

The choir's upcoming concerts are at St Thomas’ Parish Church, Belfast, on December 16th at 8:00pm, and at University Church, Stephen’s Green, Dublin on December 17th at 6:30pm.

For more information on the Chamber Choir, visit

Mooney's Thursday Quiz

It’s Mooney, it's Thursday, so it's time for Mooney's Thursday Quiz!

And, we have a terrific prize up for grabs today: it’s a two-night weekend break to the five-star Monart Destination Spa in County Wexford, the only spa in Ireland to be shortlisted for the 2014 World Spa Awards!

Your prize is based on two people sharing one room and includes breakfast on both mornings, dinner on an evening of your choice and complimentary access to the spa’s facilities.

Runners-up will get a copy of the Irish Times Book Of The Year 2013 by Peter Murtagh, and everyone who takes part in the quiz will get a Mooney Pride watch.

Footprint Plaque

Something that most of us have done at some stage of our lives is to break, smash or destroy something that is of sentimental value and totally irreplaceable.

Whether you’ve smashed Dad’s Waterford Crystal retirement vase, wiped the CD of your little darling’s communion or dropped your wedding ring down the toilet, many of us know that feeling: the pang, the pain, the panic.

Well Brenda Donohue met one should man who is currently experiencing all these emotions.

Eoin O'Brien has broken two very precious plates. They belong to his partner Brid, and on the plates were footprints of her grandchidren's feet when they were only four weeks old...

They are irreplaceable - but is there anyone who can restore them to their former glory? Brenda visited Eoin and Brid...

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


***Download the Dawn Chorus 2017 podcasts***

Dawn Chorus 2017 - First Hour - 00:00 - 01:00

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Dawn Chorus 2017 - Fourth Hour - 03:00 - 04:00

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Dawn Chorus 2017 - Sixth Hour - 05:00 - 06:00

Music Played on the Show

Ding Dong! Merrily On High

Ding Dong! Merrily On High

Chamber Choir Ireland


Away In A Manger

Away In A Manger

Chamber Choir Ireland


Those Were The Days

Those Were The Days

Mary Hopkin


Hot For You

Hot For You

The Blades


Hung Up

Hung Up



Somewhere Only We Know

Somewhere Only We Know

Lily Allen




Tom Jones






Living Next Door To Alice

Living Next Door To Alice



How Long Will I Love You

How Long Will I Love You

Ellie Goulding


Come On Eileen

Come On Eileen

Dexys Midnight Runners




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Presenter: Derek Mooney


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