Mooney, Thursday December 19th 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...

We find out why Brussels sprouts have such a bad image, we hear about the research that shows that you can tell a persons height from the sound of their voice and Oliver Callan joins us for a look back at the year...

Mooney's Merry Messages!

Mooney's Merry Messages!

Christmas is a special time when, if we’re lucky, we get to spend precious moments with the friends and family we love. For many that means making the long trip home – or jetting off to foreign parts to be with our nearest and dearest. But for others, being together is simply not an option.

Whatever YOUR situation, here on MOONEY we want to help make your Christmas the best ever. On Monday, Brenda Donohue will be out in Dublin Airport, Katriona McFadden will be at the ferryport in Dún Laoghaire and Fergus Sweeney will be at Busarus - waving off the travellers and welcoming back those returning home...

...And if YOU can’t be with the one you love – we want you to let us have your Christmas message to them and we’ll send them out across the world over the airwaves.

You can send a text to 51551 whilst the programme is on air (3-4.30pm, Monday - Friday) or you can e-mail or tweet us anytime: or @MooneyShow. Tell us your story, send us your message and we’ll do the rest on Mooney’s Merry Messages – this coming Monday from 3pm.

Oliver Callan's Review Of The Year

Oliver Callan's Review Of The Year

Lots of you reading this might have tuned in to RTÉ One on Sunday night to listen to Enda Kenny’s State Of The Nation address. He reassured us that Ireland's economic sovereignty was restored. He reassured us that we could be optimistic about our country’s future

And he said Irish people have always shown that nothing is impossible for us to achieve. But he forgot one thing, so Enda asked if he could come into studio today to set the record state.  He's joined by fellow Mayo man Louis Walsh, and our fellow broadcaster, Joe Duffy!

Callan's Kicks In The Year is a one-hour sketch that will be broadcast on New Year's Eve at 9.15 pm on RTÉ One. The radio programme of the same name will be going out on RTÉ Radio 1 at 11.30 a.m. that morning.

Oliver will also be performing around the country over the next few weeks:

Dec 29th: Mullingar Arts Centre
Dec 30th: The Heritage Hotel, Kilenard
Jan 4th: Nuremore Hotel, Carrickmacross
Feb 22nd: Íontas, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan
Mar 8th: The Source Arts Centre, Thurles, Tipperary

For more information about Oliver, visit

The Tall And The Short Of It

The world is full of people of varying height. The tallest man in modern history was Robert Pershing Wadlow from Illinois who was 8 ft 11 (or 2.72 metres) at the time of his death in 1940. The tallest LIVING man is Sultan Kosen from Turkey who is 8ft 3 (or 2.51 metres). The tallest female was Zeng Jinlian from China who was 8 ft 1 ½ inches (or 2.48 metres) when she died. And the SHORTEST adult human on record is Chandra Bahadur Dangi from Nepal at 1 ft 9 ½ inches (or 0.546 metres).

Robert Pershing Wadlow

In Ireland the average man born in 1980 is 5 ft 9 (or 1.76 metres) and the average woman is 5ft 6 (or 1.67 metres).

Some say that taller people are more successful - did you know that in the U.S. presidential elections of the 20th century that the taller candidate won 22 out of 25 times?!

But then what about Napoleon Bonaparte, Vladimir Lenin, Benito Mussolini and Joseph Stalin? All were leaders and men of small stature.

It is very easy to estimate someone's height by looking at them but could you do it just by listening to them?

John Morton is a Graduate Student of Washington University in St Louis, Missouri. He specialises in 'Speech Perception' and he has done research which suggests that we can tell tall people from small people, just by listening to them...

This morning, Katriona McFadden hit the streets and asked a number of people, of varying height to read a festive passage. So this afternoon, play along - just for fun! - with our TALL or SMALL game, and let us know: how tall or small do you think the people in our voxpop are based solely on their voices?

And to explain more about his research, we are delighted to be joined from Washington University by John Morton...

Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts

It's dinnertime on Christmas Day, and whether you've cooked Nevins's ham or made your own stuffing for the turkey, the item on the plate that causes the most controversy is the lonely, bitter tasting, very green Brussel sprout.

Whether they are on the plate because it's considered traditional or because Aunty Biddy loved them or because there should be something healthy there... the poor aul Brussel sprout gets more than its fair share of abuse!

Mooney reporter Brenda Donohue took to the streets with Eanna ni Lamhna and a tray of humble Brussels sprouts...

Dirty Money

Dirty Money

Everyone wants to get their hands on cash. But after you hear this item, maybe you won’t be too keen! And that's because of the bacteria on our currency... A student at Cork Institute of Technology analysed a sample of euro notes in circulation for microbes - with some alarming results.

To tell us more, we are joined from RTÉ Cork by Dr. Jim O’Mahony, from the Department of Biological Sciences at Cork Institute of Technology, who supervised this study...

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

Money's Too Tight (To Mention)

Money's Too Tight (To Mention)

Simply Red


I'Ve Got You Under My Skin

I'Ve Got You Under My Skin

Jack L




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Presenter: Derek Mooney


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