Mooney, Tuesday January 7th 2014

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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, with Shay Byrne...

On Mooney today, with Shay Byrne...

We'll hear about the stray, but very smart, dogs in Moscow who commute on the subway to find their favourite fast food outlets. We find out about the good AND the bad bugs floating around at the moment with advice on when NOT to go to the doctor. 

Fergus Sweeney helps us to celebrate designated days of the year - did you know that today is the day to fight back and take control of your life?!

Find out more from 3pm on RTÉ Radio 1!

Caring For Garden Birds This Winter

Caring For Garden Birds This Winter

To find out how to care for and attract garden birds, read Jim Wilson's Guide To Garden Birds - CLICK HERE!

Moscow's Commuting Dogs

Moscow's Commuting Dogs

Well is it the sound, the sensation or the smell that is enabling stray dogs in Moscow to ride the subway to find their favourite feeding grounds?

Russian researchers who have been observing the strays for about 30 years now have found that many dogs actually do a daily commute on the metro. - They use it for cruising, napping, keeping warm, finding food and believe it or not -  they know where and when to get off and how to get back home to their bed at night. 

This is a story that’s currently attracting a lot of media attention. The phenomenon is attributed to survival-based evolution – and the most surprising thing is that the dogs are able to put up with big crowds without getting aggressive. 

To tell us more about the lives of stray dogs in Moscow, we have in studio today Diarmaid Fleming, a Dublin-based journalist and World Service Reporter for the BBC...

Good And Bad Bugs

Good And Bad Bugs

Good bugs, bad bugs and superbugs - we hear a lot about bugs this time of year, and the GP surgeries are jam packed. Bug expert Dr. Fidelma Fitzpatrick is Consultant Microbiologist at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, and she also advises HSE senior management on the best ways to prevent the spread of infections and on the use of antibiotics. She joins Shay Byrne in studio today with her advice on how to get through Bug Season – and maybe even prevent an unnecessary trip to the GP! 

A FREE upcoming lecture called "Good bugs, bad bugs and super bugs - Protecting you and your family from infection" will be hosted by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. It will take place next Tuesday, January 14th, from 6pm-8.30pm, in the RCPI building at 6, Kildare Street, Dublin. For more information about the evening, visit

If you would like to see a video of the snot gun that Dr. Fidelma talks about, click below: 

To learn more about microbes and hygiene, visit (this would be of particular interest to teachers and schoolchildren).

Galway university have also developed an iPad game called Bug Run, in which players need to guide Bob through the school day without getting sick, by collecting fruit and water, and avoiding the nasty bugs. The game is free to download and available by clicking here.

And for more information about the proper use of antibiotics, visit

Designated Days

Designated Days

Did you know that today is National Tempura Day? Tempura (pictured) is a Japanese dish of seafood or vegetables that have been battered and deep-fried. Happy Tempura Day! But if today, Tuesday January 7th, you feel a little like Howard Beale from Network, we want you to go to the window and shout "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore".

Actually, if ever there was a day to go on a rant like Howard Beale it is today, January 7th, because today is "I’m not going to take it anymore Day". We're not kidding you! Apparently, this is the day you’re supposed to fight back against all the injustices in the world!

But not only that - today is also "Harlem Globetrotters Day", and "International Programmers Day"! In fact, every day celebrates or is dedicated to something which someone somewhere has decided needs to be recognised...

Tomorrow, January 8th, is Bubble Bath Day, February 9th is "Toothache Day", March 3rd is "National Anthem Day", April 8th is "Be Kind To Lawyers Day", May 15th is "Straw Hat day", and so on...

Mooney producer Fergus Sweeney has been taking a look at some of the weirdest national or designated days...

To discover more about unusual designated days, or to look up what designated day you share your birthday with, visit or

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

Maple Leaf Rag

Maple Leaf Rag

Evelyn Glennie




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Presenter: Derek Mooney


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