Mooney, Friday February 7th 2014


The prestigious annual Rose D'Or Awards (now in their 55th year) honour the very best of international radio, TV and online entertainment programmes, and the awards ceremony took place last night (Tuesday, September 13th 2016).  Over 400 programmes from more than 130 broadcasters and production companies in 33 different countries were submitted for this year’s Rose d’Or awards.  For the first time, a new competition category, 'Radio Event Of The Year' was created.  We entered European Dawn Chorus in this category, and we're absolutely delighted to let you know drumroll... WE WON!!! We're absolutely thrilled to pieces, and a massive thanks to all our EBU and BirdLife International partners, we couldn't have done it without you!  Click here to read more about the 2016 Rose D'Or awards (in which legendary funnyman John Cleese picked up the Lifetime Achievement award), and click here to relive - and re-listen to - all the beautiful Dawn Chorus birdsong from right across Europe.

***STOP PRESS*** Dawn Chorus Picks Up Another Award!

We're thrilled to let you know that on Friday, October 7th, the Dawn Chorus won the Innovation Award at the PPI Radio Awards in Kilkenny!

***To visit The Mooney Show website, click here!***


Twitter: @naturerte

On Mooney Goes Wild today...

We’re broadcasting from Cork today, and we hear how our native and rare red squirrel is thriving at Fermoy golf club. We meet the UCC graduate of zoology who's just been awarded an OBE. And, new research suggests the population of breeding birds on this island could be TEN times its human population - an amazing 62 million!!

John O'Halloran

John O'Halloran

Now we always know when we come to Cork that Professor John O'Halloran will have some interesting news for us! He is the Head of the School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences in University College Cork. And today he joins the panel in our Cork studios to tell us about Ireland’s first population census for birds, the insects that like to live on our treetops and UCC: the first green flag campus in the world!

For more information about UCC's Green Campus initiative, visit


Now with all the wet weather we’ve had here recently, especially in the south of the country, we worried how some of our wildlife was doing, in particular, the Dipper, which just happens to be the old Mooney Goes Wild programme logo!

Pat Smiddy has worked on the Dipper Project in Co. Cork, along with Barry O’Mahony, under the watchful eye of Prof. John O’Halloran of U.C.C. for 30 years now and last night, Richard, Eanna, Terry and Derek met up with Pat, Barry and Ph.D. student Dario Fernandez along the banks of the Glashaboy river to find out more...

Ringing a dipper

Weighing a dipper


UCC Graduate Receives OBE

You could hardly mention the remote island of South Georgia without reference to the great explorer Ernest Shackleton. The Irishman is actually buried on the uninhabitable island in the South Atlantic Ocean. South Georgia is also a haven for wildlife including King Penguins, fur seals and albatross.

Dr. Martin Collins

Dr Martin Collins is a former PHD student at UCC and he’s now Chief Executive and Director of Fisheries with the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

And at the start of the year, he was awarded an OBE honour in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List in recognition of his outstanding contribution to science and conservation in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

He joins us on the line today to tell us about his work and research, his time in Cork and his surprise at receiving the award!

Award Nomination For Secrets Of The Irish Landscape

Award Nomination For Secrets Of The Irish Landscape

We are also joined in studio by Colm Crowley, from RTÉ Cork, who was the Producer and Director of Secrets Of The Irish Landscape, which has just been nominated for a New York Film and Television Award! Congratulations to all involved!

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!

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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