Dawn Chorus 2018
This year's Dawn Chorus programme will take place on Sunday, May 6th 2018, and will be broadcast from across Europe and beyond between midnight and 7am! For more information, click here.
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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!
2014 County Offaly Beekeeping Conference
If you click here, you'll be able to watch a clip from a BBC report about blue honey in France!
Bees are the ultimate opportunists. They don’t mind what the source is for their sugar, as long as they find it. We've even heard of them sucking up 'antifreeze' and turning it into honey! There have been no reports of green or blue honey here in Ireland – that we know of...
But, there is a huge variation in the TASTE of Irish honey, depending on where you travel around the country. Beekeepers say it is like a fine wine, no two years are the same.
Offaly beekeeper John Donoghue is a 'Honey Judge' – an expert in honey taste. He is also a member of the Executive Council of the Federation of Irish Beekeepers and he is here with us today to tell us about a Conference he is organising this Sunday...
The theme of the Conference is Meeting The Challenges Of Modern-Day Beekeeping. It's in the County Arms Hotel in Birr this Sunday, March 2nd, from 8:15am-5:30pm. The cost is €35, which includes tea & biscuits and a raffle!
John will be talking about Exhibiting Honey and the Role of Honey Shows. This is the first National Conference that the County Offaly Beekeepers Association have hosted. For more information about the Conference, and the Association, visit www.offalybeekeepers.ie.
Eurosong 2014: Contestant 5 - Laura O'Neill
We’ll find out on Friday night which song will represent Ireland at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen. Five songs will compete for the honour live on The Late Late Show, and each day this week on Mooney we'll speak to one of the five performers and hear their song...
Our final performer is Laura O'Neill, who joins us to tell us about her song: You Don't Remember Me.
DON’T HOLD ON
mentor: Valerie Roe
THE MOVIE SONG
mentor: Mark Murphy
Hazel Kaneswaran, Jonas Gladnikoff,
Rasmus Palmgren & Patrizia Helander
(feat. Kasey Smith)
mentor: Hazel Kaneswaran
mentor: Cormac Battle
YOU DON’T REMEMBER ME
Don Mescall & Lucie Silvas
mentor: Billy McGuinness
The winner will be decided by both regional jury vote, which will make up half of the overall marks (the juries are located in five regions: Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Sligo) and the public televote which will account for the other half of the overall result.
The five mentors responsible for selecting their artists and songs are: Valerie Roe (on behalf of her sister, singer Patricia Roe); Mark Murphy (on behalf of Eoghan Quigg); singer/songwriter Hazel Kaneswaran (on behalf of Can-Linn featuring Kasey Smith); RTÉ 2fm disc jockey Cormac Battle (on behalf of Andrew Mann); and member of Irish rock band Aslan, Billy McGuinness (on behalf of Laura O’Neill).
The Late Late Show Eurosong Special will be broadcast on Friday, February 28th and hosted by Ryan Tubridy, with the winner being announced at the end of the show after the national televote results and the verdicts of the five regional juries.
Two Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals will take place – on Tuesday May 6th, and Thursday May 8th. There are already six direct finalists – the 'Big Five' countries: United Kingdom, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, plus last year's winners Denmark, will proceed directly to the Eurovision 2014 Final on Saturday, May 10th. The contest will take place in Copenhagen, the Danish capital, where the Contest has been hosted twice before, in 1964 at the Tivoli Concert Hall (won by 16-year-old Gigliola Cinquetti for Italy), and in 2001 in Parken Stadium (won by Estonia’s Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL). The remaining 31 countries will compete in one of the semi-finals in order to win a place in the aforementioned Final. Ireland will compete in the second semi-final on Thursday, May 8th. Live coverage will be on RTÉ Two for the semi-finals, and on RTÉ 1 for the Eurovision 2014 Final, with commentary provided – as ever – by Marty Whelan.
SONG 5: YOU DON'T REMEMBER ME
Composers/Lyricists: Don Mescall & Lucie Silvas
performed by LAURA O’NEILL
Laura O'Neill was born in Dublin in 1989. Laura's passion for music began at the young age of seven when she joined Ireland's top performing arts school NPAS. Laura has performed in some of Ireland's most illustrious venues including the Olympia theatre, the National Concert Hall and Cork Opera House. At the age of 17 Laura was promoted to vocal trainer and choral producer where she remained for six years. During her spell with NPAS she spent three years in Cork studying Performing Arts. In 2011 Laura made it to the The X Factor's boot-camp. Laura describes her experience on that show as 'an emotional roller coaster from start to finish', but an experience she learnt a lot from and will remember forever. Laura currently fronts a corporate and wedding band called The Firm and is working on her debut EP which is planned for release in spring 2014.
Laura’s mentor Billy McGuinness, a member of rock group Aslan, said: 'For me it is all about the song and with You Don't Remember Me, which was written by Don Mescall and Lucie Silvas, I have avoided any gimmicks and concentrated solely on the meaning and emotion of the words and lyrics. Don Mescall is a familiar name to many as he has written songs for acts such as Backstreet Boys, Boyzone and of course Aslan which is how I met him. I first heard Laura O’Neill singing at our bass player Rod O'Brien's wedding I knew she could deliver this song like no other singer could. When we were recording the song she blew everyone away and I think if she were to release this song tomorrow she would have a massive hit with it. I really feel she has a great future ahead of her.'
Co-writer Don Mescall also participated in Eurosong 2011, and finished third with the song he co-wrote with Ronan Hardiman, Talking With Jennifer.
IRELAND’S EUROVISION RECORD 1965 – 2013
Since Ireland’s first participation in 1965, we have finished as follows:
1st place: 7 times – 1970, 1980, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996
2nd place: 4 times – 1967, 1984, 1990, 1997
3rd place: once – 1977
4th place: 3 times – 1966, 1968, 1986
5th place: 3 times – 1978, 1979, 1981
6th place: 3 times – 1965, 1985, 2000
7th place: twice – 1969, 1974
8th place: twice – 1988, 2011
9th place: twice – 1975, 1998
10th place: 4 times – 1973, 1976, 1991, 2006
Note that all of Ireland’s Top Five placings occurred between 1966 and 1997.
The 1990s became Ireland’s most successful decade, having won four contests in five years – and the year in between (1995) featured Irish violinist in the Norwegian-Irish collective Secret Garden.
The 2000s has been the country’s worst decade in terms of our track record.
The best placing was at the start, in 2000, when Millennium Of Love, finished sixth.
2001 saw our entry Without Your Love finished third last, and put Ireland out of the 2002 contest. Ten years ago, the You’re A Star format of selecting a Eurovision entry for Ireland was introduced, and Mickey Harte gave us a credible eleventh (joint) position in Riga in 2003. Chris Doran (2004) and Donna & Joe McCaul (2005) were less successful – the latter performers did not even qualify for the final. Brian Kennedy temporarily restored fortunes in Athens, 2006, when his own composition finished tenth in the Final. In 2007, the trad band Dervish, however, gave us our first bottom placing! Dustin won the national heat in Limerick in 2008, and went to Belgrade hoping to make it eight victories – it was not to be, especially as he didn’t make it past the semi-final stage. 2009 saw the girl band Sinéad Mulvey & Black Daisy narrowly miss a place in the final in Moscow with Et Cetera.
Now we’re in the 2010s, and former winner Niamh Kavanagh went to Oslo with a strong ballad, It’s For You, but finished way down the field. Former The X Factor contestants from Lucan, John & Edward Grimes, aka Jedward, won the national selections in 2011 and 2012 – mainly due to the huge under-16 female vote. The first of their entries, Lipstick, gave us a worthy eighth place in Düsseldorf two years ago. And the following year in Baku, Azerbaijan, the twins fared even worse, when Waterline plunged to nineteenth place on the night. As for 2013 in Malmö, Ryan Dolan plunged to last place in the Final with Only Love Survives.
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