The robin, not the turkey, is the real Christmas bird; you'll find him on cards, cakes and Christmas trees. But is Robin Redbreast having us on? Is he really the friendly and gentle little fellow he seems? Does he deserve his special Christmas place? Dr. Richard Collins, scientific adviser to Mooney Goes Wild, investigates! To read more about this special documentary, and to listen to the programme, click here.
On Mooney today...
We take a look ahead to the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in the company of Paul G. Sheridan. We find out how office plants can help improve concentration and productivity in the workplace. And reporter Katriona McFadden meets the Discovery Gospel Choir, as we continue our search for a support act for The Blind Boys Of Alabama!
To find out how to care for and attract garden birds, read Jim Wilson's Guide To Garden Birds - CLICK HERE!
Eurovision Song Contest 2014
It’s that time of year again when we start gearing up for Eurovision 2014. Ireland’s hopes for glory last year were all pinned on Ryan Dolan’s Only Love Survives. Despite a great performance, Ryan was voted into last place – and in the end it was Denmark's Emmelie de Forest who took home the coveted gong for her song Only Teardrops.
RTÉ has decided to retain the same mentoring procedure that it has used since 2011 for this year's Contest (the 59th!), which takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark. And you can hear the first play of the songs right here on Mooney on Thursday, February 6th!
Our resident EuroGuru, Paul G. Sheridan, is in studio with the latest Eurovision news...
Wherever the flowers have done, they generally can't be found in the average work environment. In the past, flowers and plants have been frowned on by many managers as some kind of distraction, when workers should have their heads down, making money for the company!
But in recent years, researchers are coming to the conclusion that plants and flowers in the workplace can actually increase worker happiness, and in turn, increase productivity and efficiency.
Waltons New School Of Music & Discovery Gospel Choir
On Monday's programme, you might remember, we spoke briefly to John Mardirosian. He's the Director of the 'Waltons New School of Music' and told us that applications are now being accepted for their 'World Masters Gospel Competition'.
The prize is for one gospel choir to be the support act for the amazing The Blind Boys Of Alabama when they play the National Concert Hall on May 21st - AND the finalists will also be featured here on Mooney!
Well we ran out of time when we were talking to John so we decided to send Mooney reporter Katriona McFadden to Waltons New School of Music to find out a little more about the competition AND the school, which is the largest private music school in the country with 1200 students.
John wasn't there when Katriona visited, so instead she met John’s wife Aideen Walton. Aideen gave Katriona a tour of the music school, which is located on Georges St in Dublin. Katriona also went to listen to the Discovery Gospel Choir, who were rehearsing last night in the Church of St George and St Thomas on Dublin’s Cathal Brugha Street.
They won the Waltons World Masters Gospel Competition back in 2011.
If you are in a gospel choir and would like a chance to win a spot supporting the Blind Boys of Alabama in the National Concert Hall on May 21st, then carry on reading for full details of how to apply. The closing date is March 21st – all finalists will perform on Mooney on April 10th - then The Blind Boys Of Alabama will have the casting vote - and the winner will be announced right here on May 1st!
Calling all Irish gospel choirs/groups!
Would you like to perform in the National Concert Hall as support act for gospel legends The Blind Boys of Alabama as well as on RTÉ Radio 1’s Mooney?
Mooney and Waltons World Masters Series are offering one lucky group the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do just that!
The Waltons World Masters Series welcomes The Blind Boys of Alabama back to Dublin and the National Concert Hall on Wednesday, May 21st 2014. Ireland has its own great tradition of gospel music, and one very special aspect of this concert is that the support act will be an Irish gospel choir/group selected by the third nationwide Waltons World Masters Gospel Competition, in association with the Mooney and RTÉ Radio 1! The winning choir/group will perform a 40-minute set before The Blind Boys take to the stage.
All Irish gospel choirs/groups are welcome to enter.
After all entries are received, a shortlist of three finalists will be chosen by a jury made up of representatives from Waltons New School of Music and RTÉ Radio 1. The finalists will be announced and their recordings broadcast on the Mooney on Thursday, April 10th. Their entries will then be sent to The Blind Boys of Alabama, who will select the overall winner.
The winning choir/group will be announced on the Mooney on Thursday, May 1st, perform on Mooney on a date to be announced, and perform in the National Concert Hall as support act for the Blind Boys of Alabama on Wednesday, May 21st.
The winning choir/group will be responsible for their own transport to/from the venue, as well as accommodation (if required). The group will receive five pairs of tickets to the concert for guests, but there will be no monetary remuneration.
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 (www.npws.ie) 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 www.irishwildlifematters.ie