Mooney, Tuesday February 4th 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...

Brenda Donohue visits Ireland's only Breast Milk bank, we have music and chat from George Murphy, and we chat to Swedish Idol Kevin Walker!

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!

Learning Languages

On yesterday's programme, Brenda Donohue reported back on some French classes for children that were being held in Castleknock, in Dublin. We received a huge amount of feedback on the item, including this e-mail from Gillian:

Hi Derek and Brenda,

My name is Gillian O'Donovan and I teach pre school and primary school children languages here in County Sligo, I set up my business, First Time French in January and would love if you could give it a small mention on your show.

I've had wonderful feedback from parents who can't get over how quickly the children absorb the language.

My website is and my phone number is 086 151-4655 if anyone in the Sligo area is interested in classes.

Many thanks,

Gillian O'Donovan

Human Milk Bank

A few weeks on the show Brenda asked the question: are there any Irish wet nurses? A wet nurse is a woman who breastfeeds and cares for another's child. Wet nurses are employed when the mother is unable or chooses not to nurse the child herself.

Lots of you texted and e-mailed the programme, telling is about The Western Trust Human Milk Bank. This is Ireland’s only milk bank, located in Co. Fermanagh. The co-ordinator in Anne McCrea and recently she was in Dublin delivering breast milk - Brenda caught up with her to find out more...

For more, find out

George Murphy

George Murphy

Ten years ago a 17-year-old college student took to the stage of the Helix Theatre in Dublin to compete to win the You’re a Star talent competition. He came from Artane in Dublin and, at the time, he was studying to be an actor.  He ended up coming 4th that year.

Well he has gone on to forge a career as a full-time singer both here and America - most recently, for us, he very kindly did a 'House Party' in the Mary Aikenhead Centre down the road in Donnybrook.

He is the one, and only, George Murphy, and he joins us in studio this afternoon! 

Raglan Road, in memory of Luke Kelly, is available on iTunes next week and the proceeds go to the Simon Community for the homeless.

Kevin Walker, Pop Idol

It was originally released in 1984, one of the highlights U2's classic album, The Unforgettable Fire. But that particular version first hit the airwaves in September of last year, during one of the final rounds of Swedish Idol.

What makes it unusual is that the performer, who was born and bred in Sweden, is actually a compatriot of U2. His name is Kevin Walker. He was born in Orebo, Sweden, in 1989, but he speaks English with a Carlow accent! And not only is he an aspiring singer. He is also a professional footballer, eligible to play for both Sweden and Ireland!

Are you intrigued? Well, we were! Which is why we asked Kevin to go into a studio in Sweden today! Kevin chats to Derek and Brenda about Swedish Idol, his football career, and his Irish connections.

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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Presenter: Derek Mooney


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