Mooney, Monday January 20th 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...

On Mooney today...

RTÉ newsreader Michael Murphy will be in studio following news that more than two and a half thousand gay people have tied the knot since the Civil Partnership Act came into effect in 2011. And Paul G. Sheridan updates us on the draw for the Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals!

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!

The Blind Boys Of Alabama Competition

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.

The Competition

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.


Entry forms are available at or by clicking here. E-mail or post forms with the required information and materials (e-mail preferred!) to: (with ‘Waltons World Masters Gospel Competition’ in the subject line)


Waltons World Masters Gospel Competition
Waltons New School of Music
69 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2

Entries must arrive by 5pm on Friday, March. Late entries will not be accepted.

Please include the following materials and information:

  • Good quality audio recording(s) and MPG4, MOV, AVI or WMV video files or CD and DVD of one or two pieces that best display the range and skills of your choir/group.
  • A list of proposed repertoire to be performed at the NCH if your choir/group is chosen to perform.
  • A brief description your choir/group, including history, number of members and names, musical background of members and instrumentation (if any).
  • A JPG photograph of the choir for the Mooney Show and Competition web pages. If possible, please include a live performance photograph as well.
  • Website, Facebook or other URL(s), if any.
  • Email and contact details of the choir/group director.
  • Confirmation that all performers who feature on the audio and video files are available and will be able to perform on Wednesday, 21 May in the National Concert Hall, if your choir/group is selected.

Important Dates

Entry deadline: Friday, March 21st, 5pm
Finalists announced: Thursday, April 10th
Winner announced: Thursday, 1 May
Concert: Wednesday, 21 May

Eurovision 2014 Semi-Final Draw

We are now officially on countdown mode to the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. We already know that France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the host country Denmark will be competing in the 59th Eurovision Song Contest Final at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen on May 10th this year.

The big question is, of course, which 20 countries will be competing against them!

We already know that 31 countries will take part in the Semi-Finals on the 6th and 8th of May, and today, we learnt of where Ireland will be!
For this and more Eurovision news, we are joined on the line by our very own Euro Guru Paul G. Sheridan...


On Monday, January 20th 2014, the semi-final allocations draw, in addition to the draw to determine which direct finalist will broadcast and vote in which semi-final, was conducted in Copenhagen, Denmark.  The results were as follows:


SWEDEN * (1st half)
ALBANIA (1st half)
ICELAND (1st half)
RUSSIA (1st half)
LATVIA (1st half)
AZERBAIJAN (1st half)
ARMENIA (1st half)
ESTONIA (1st half) 

BELGIUM (2nd half)
HUNGARY (2nd half)
MOLDOVA (2nd half)
MONTENEGRO (2nd half)
SAN MARINO (2nd half)
PORTUGAL (2nd half)
UKRAINE (2nd half)
NETHERLANDS (2nd half)


NORWAY * (1st half)
ISRAEL * (1st half)
GEORGIA (1st half)
AUSTRIA (1st half)
LITHUANIA (1st half)
POLAND (1st half)
MALTA (1st half)

MACEDONIA (2nd half)
FINLAND (2nd half)
IRELAND (2nd half)
ROMANIA (2nd half)
SLOVENIA (2nd half)
BELARUS (2nd half)
GREECE (2nd half)
SWITZERLAND (2nd half)

The ‘Big Five’ and the Host Nation:


1st SEMI-FINAL: Tues. 6 May

2nd SEMI-FINAL: Thurs. 8 May


Semi-Final 1: Tuesday 6 May 2014
Semi-Final 2: Thursday 8 May 2014
Grand Final: Saturday 10 May 2014

* Norway and Sweden were, at the request of the EBU to assure a fair distribution of ticket sales, drawn to appear in separate semi-finals – Sweden in Semi 1; Norway in Semi 2, while Israel had also asked to go into Semi-Final 2 because the date of Semi 1 clashes with their Day of Remembrance.  Germany asked to transmit and vote in Semi 2 for scheduling reasons. These requests were granted.

Civil Partnerships

Figures released today reveal that since the Civil Partnership Act came into effect in January in 2011, more than 2,600 gay people had got legally "hitched". What’s really interesting is the geographical spread of where the ceremonies took place. The story is a truly national one with couples in every single county in the country entering into civil partnerships.

Joining Derek in studio today is broadcaster and RTÉ newsreader Michael Murphy, who was one of the first to tie the knot, and Tiernan Brady, Policy director with GLEN (the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network).

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***

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Presenter: Derek Mooney


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