Mooney Goes Wild

    Sunday, 10pm-11pm, RTÉ Radio 1

    Mooney, Friday May 2nd 2014


    On Mooney Goes Wild today...

    Finally! Scientists from Trinity College have unlocked the key to a long life: grow wings and fly, burrow underground, or live in a tree! Mooney Goes Wild listeners talk to us about the most unusual bird nesting places they have found around the country. And Eanna ni Lamhna finds out why Christmas tree growers absolutely love ladybirds!


    Blue Tits In Derek's Back Garden

    Blue Tit
    Parus caeruleus
    Meantán gorm

    The Blue Tit laid the first egg on Friday, April 25th, and appears to have laid one egg each day since. It looks like there are six eggs in the nest but it's hard to count them. See how many you can spot! 

    The female seems to be incubating now, and if this is the case then we can expect the eggs to hatch on Thursday May 15th or Friday May 16th May 2014. We hope to have the live stream up on our site by the end of next week. Keep watching!

    National Dawn Chorus Day

    National Dawn Chorus Day will take part on Sunday, May 18th 2014.  If you are part of a group who will be taking part in a Dawn Chorus event in your local area, and want to register your event with us, please send full details - name, contact number, what will be happening and where, to, with the subject line 'Dawn Chorus 2014'. And who knows, we may contact you during our Dawn Chorus broadcast!

    Where will you be on National Dawn Chorus Day?

    For more information on the various events that BirdWatch Ireland will be hosting as part of Dawn Chorus Day, click here.


    Birds Nesting In Unusual Places

    During the last couple of weeks, we've had a large number of e-mails from listeners describing the unusual places that birds have been building their nests in. Today, we chat to some of you about those unusual locations...

    Terry telephoned to say she has starlings nesting under bath! This is a bath she and her husband use every day. She cannot actually see the nest, but she can hear the chicks, and she can see herons flying in and out with food. They have a vent in the bathroom that is not properly finished, so it provides access to the parents, and she was wondering if everything is going to be okay?

    Another listener, Ann, e-mailed us from Cork:

    Hello Derek, 

    I had a Robin nesting in the BBQ that was in my strawberry bed last year as it was redundant.  It was a great find last year and I was babysitting the nest for six weeks. Needless to say, I could do not work in the house as I was fascinated with the Robin’s routine.  Six little birds fled the nest and the last week was amazing, guarding the little chicks from the neighbour’s cat and not to mention my own King Charles.

    Well I looked out the window last week and the little Robin is back again.  She is going in and out of a vent in the BBQ and has built the most exquisite nest I have ever seen.  Such a clever bird is all I can say. The photos attached show the nest and the bbq where she enters and leaves.  The chicks you see are last years chicks.



    Ladybirds And Christmas Trees

    It looks like 2014 is going to be another bumper year for ladybirds. Last year the good summer saw HUGE numbers of ladybirds – particularly in the South East – and already this year, we’re receiving massive numbers of ladybird sightings.

    Irish people have a soft spot for ladybirds, and while many people wouldn't fancy a spider crawling over their hand, most people love it when a ladybird lands on them - and they do some good too!

    We got an e-mail from Dermot Page who is the Chairperson of the Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association.

    He said: "the ladybirds are waking up and taking over our Christmas Tree farms... it's not unusual to see hundreds of them on one tree. They are currently putting paid to the aphids which means no need for pesticide sprays. Happy Days! Last Christmas you received a call to say a ladybird was even found on a tree in December...Eanna reckoned it was due to the wonderful summer. Love the ladybirds is all I say!"

    Well Dermot is a big fan of the ladybird as they’re saving him a fortune in pesticides - and we liked the sound of his Christmas Tree farm so we sent Eanna off to meet him...

    Eanna with Dermot Page


    The Irish Wildlife Trust Launches National “Citizen Scientist” Ladybird Survey

    Ladybirds are often considered to be colourful, charismatic insects that assist in managing our gardens by controlling the numbers of plant pests such as aphids. Eighteen species of ladybird have been recorded in Ireland, but there is still a huge gap in our knowledge of what exactly is out there and where these species are distributed.

    Building a picture of the distribution of our native ladybirds has become an urgent task as there is now a new ladybird in town, the Harlequin ladybird Harmonia axaridis. This is an invasive ladybird originating in Asia. It arrived in the UK in the summer of 2004 and is now found in all of England with a few isolated locations in Scotland. It was also introduced into North America in 1988 and is now a serious insect pest. It has subsequently invaded much of north-western Europe and arrived in County Down in 2009. It was first reported in Cork and Wicklow in 2010 and Carlow in 2011. The Harlequin causes problems in the natural environment in that it has a wide dietary range, outcompeting native ladybirds for their main prey of aphids and even consuming other ladybird species eggs and larvae. They can reproduce up to three generations per year whilst most other native ladybird species will only reproduce once.

    This year the Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) is launching a nationwide ladybird survey and will be running workshops in Counties Carlow, Cork and Wicklow. This follows on from a very successful survey piloted in Co. Cork by the Cork Branch of the IWT. “It is important that we build up a picture of native ladybird populations and the current distribution of the invasive Harlequin in these counties as we can monitor the impact that this invasive insect is having on our native species

    “These kind of projects are a great way for members of the public to make a contribution to science and conservation” stated Daniel Buckley, Chair of the Irish Wildlife Trust. “Anyone can submit a sighting and you don’t have to be an expert!”. Sightings can be given via the website which also shows identification pictures and links to additional information on ladybirds. There is also a Facebook Page IWTLadybirdsurvey where comments and information can be posted.

    For further information on the survey please contact

    This survey is being conducted in partnership with the Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, who are coordinating the ladybird survey in Northern Ireland, and

    The project is funded by Fota Wildlife Park.

    Ladybird survey workshop details:

    10th May 10am-1pm Wicklow Recycling Centre, The Murrough, Wicklow Town, County Wicklow 17th May 10am-1pm Seven Oaks Hotel, Carlow, 18th May 10am-1pm Fota Wildlife Park, Carrigtwohill, County Cork

    Please contact to reserve a place.


    Cork's Smooth Newts

    We get a lot of requests here on Mooney Goes Wild from listeners inviting us to view the wonderful wildlife, or flora and fauna in their local area or even in their back garden. One such e-mail recently, from Barry Curtain, said we ought to make a trip to his house in Co. Cork where he has a colony of smooth newts! So we sent Cobh man Jim Wilson along to take a look...

    Smooth Newt


    Nuala, The Tallaght Deer

    We had an e-mail into the programme during the week looking for help. Susan Sweeney works in the Institute of Technology in Tallaght and one of their residents has gone missing.

    Her name is Nuala and she is a sika deer!  Nuala moved onto the campus almost a year ago. Since then she has become a firm favourite with staff and students alike, but within the last week she has disappeared and the college are looking for help to try to locate her. Yesterday afternoon, Mooney Goes Wild reporter Terry Flanagan headed off to Tallaght to find out more...


    Dying Without Wings

    Apparently, size matters when it comes to animals living longer. And nowadays, medical advances and a better awareness of diet and exercise mean that HUMANS are living longer than ever before. The oldest ever-recorded human was Jeanne Calment from France who died in 1997, aged 122.

    But for animals, your size generally predicts how long you'll live.  The bigger you are, the longer you'll live. However, there are some notable exceptions. Animals who seem to have 'cracked it' when it comes to the secret of living longer than their size should dictate.

    The Naked Mole Rat was one of the animals referred to in the study

    Dr Natalie Cooper is Assistant Professor of Zoology in Trinity College Dublin, and she has been doing research into these extraordinary animals. She joins us in studio to tell us what she's uncovered...

    New Free Bus Service For The Burren National Park To Commence This Bank Holiday Weekend

    The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht's National Parks and Wildlife Service is delighted to announce the recommencement of the Free Bus Service for the Burren National Park, Co Clare, for the 2014 season. From Saturday 3rd May until Friday 29th August the bus service will operate between the Burren National Park Visitor Information Point located in the village of Corofin, Co. Clare and the National Park.

    A sixteen-seater bus will operate, at approximately hourly intervals, beginning at the park’s visitor information point, until 6.00p.m., seven days a week.  It will drop off and pick up visitors at set locations around the National Park.

    This service gives visitors the opportunity to explore the five scenic way-marked walking trails found within the park.  Visitors may enjoy the unique Burren landscape at their leisure, before re-joining the bus at a later time and/or a different place and returning to Corofin.

    The service is in its third year of operation.  In addition to providing a unique visitor experience, it is also expected that the service will help boost tourism in North Clare and support local service providers.  The Burren National Park Visitor Information Point in Corofin was opened in May of 2012 by Minister Jimmy Deenihan.  Its aim is to provide information and interpretation to visitors to the National Park.  A program of events, including guided nature walks and Art-in-the-Park activities, are provided from April until September by the guides who operate from the information point.

    Commenting on the service, Minister Deenihan said:

    “The recommencement of this free bus service at the Burren this bank holiday weekend makes it the perfect time to visit one of Ireland's magnificent national parks. I am delighted that this free bus service will be available for the summer from this bank holiday weekend.  The Burren is one of our great natural resources, and is home to an amazing variety of flora and fauna.  With this free bus service, I hope that greater numbers of people can enjoy the natural beauty of Burren National Park this summer.”

    Mooney Mentors Ballyduff Drama Group

    The Ballyduff Drama Group: Seated (left to right): Aoife Walsh (Emma); Valerie O’Leary (Ella); Pat Sheehan (Emerson); John Power (Malcolm); Standing (left to right):  Richie Walsh (Weston); Courtney Canning (Wesley); Killian Collins (Ellis); Ian McGuirk (Taylor)


    This week, Mooney will be supporting the Ballyduff Drama Group, from Co. Waterford, at the All Ireland Drama Festival. They will be performing The Curse Of The Starving Class by Sam Shepard.

    Rehearsals for the Ballyduff Drama Group production of 'The Curse Of The Starving Class'

    For the first time in the Festival’s 62-year career, a carefully-devised mentor scheme pairs nine of RTÉ’s well-known faces and voices with this year’s finalists. Each mentor will offer support to their respective drama group, in the hope that it will be the one to perform the winning play in front of the thousands of visitors the Festival attracts. The nine mentors are; Miriam O’Callaghan, Derek Mooney, John Murray, Damien O’Reilly, Ronan Collins, Joe Duffy, Mary Wilson, Seán O’Rourke and Seán Rocks. 

    The RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival was founded in 1952, and is one of the most prestigious event of its kind in the country. Nine finalists, representing Kildare, Tipperary, Waterford, Leitrim, Donegal and Waterford, will showcase their productions on stage in the Dean Crowe Theatre & Arts Centre in Athlone. Ballyduff Drama Group's date of presentation was last night!

    For further information on the Ballyduff Drama Group, visit

    For more information on the All Ireland Drama Festival, read the RTÉ Press Release or visit

    Mooney Tunes 10

    Can you believe it? It's Mooney Tunes time again, and astonishingly, we are approaching our tenth concert!

    It all started in September 2009, at the National Concert Hall. The very first Mooney Tunes featured music such as Send In The ClownsThe Anvil Chorus and even the theme from Hawaii Five-O.

    Over the last nine concerts, there hasn't been any genre of music we haven't covered. We've done a lot of classical favourites, we've had arias and choruses from some of the greatest operas ever written.

    In the last concert, Mooney Tunes 9 in December last year, we did some incredible jazz, like Jack L singing My Way, and the big band orchestra performing Sing Sing Sing by Benny Goodman.

    We've had pop, traditional Irish, even country music - Daniel O'Donnell went down a treat at Mooney Tunes 7!

    All in all, over the nine concerts so far, we have brought you a total of 152 pieces of music. They were performed by some of the cream of Irish and international talent, accompanied by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.

    Everybody from sopranos Cara O'Sullivan and Claudia Boyle, tenor Paul Potts, baritone John Molloy have performed.  We've had Brian Kennedy, Jerry Fish, Chloe Agnew, John Sheehan from the Dubliners.  We also did a special Eurovision tribute, with Niamh Kavanagh, Linda Martin, Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan.

    Anyway, the good news is, we want to bring you another gem of a show. And, since it's our 10th concert, we've decided to a kind of "best of".

    We would like you, our listeners, to tell us your favourite moments from the last nine shows. Now, you don't have to have been to the shows to nominate a favourite moment. All of the concerts have been broadcast on RTÉ Radio One shortly after the live performances.

    And to help, here's a list of every single piece of music that we have featured! 


    01. Begin The Beguine
    02. Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye
    03. Lizst Rhapsody No. 2
    04. Beat Out That Rhythm
    05. O Mio Babino Caro
    06. Pink Panther Theme
    07. Chiqitta
    08. Pure Imagination
    09. Silent Night
    10. Che Gilida Manina
    11. Nessun Dorma
    12. My Way
    13. Under My Skin
    14. When A Child Is Born
    15. Sing Sing Sing
    16. Let It Snow
    17. Strauss
    18. Also Sprach Zarathustra
    19. Bridge Over Troubled Water
    20. E il Sol Dell Amina from Rigoletto
    21. Donizetti – Una Furtiva Lagrima
    22. Superstar
    23. Tchaikovsky-Polonaise Onegin
    24. Roll Back The Clouds
    25. She's Out Of My Life
    26. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me
    27. Bond Theme
    28. Moonraker / Diamonds Are Forever
    29. Minuet & Badiniere from Orchestral Suite No. 2
    30. Edelweiss
    31. My Heart Will Go On
    32. Lonesome Boatman
    33. O Holy Night
    34. Mediation from Thais
    35. That's Amore
    36. In Paradisum
    37. Gabriel's Oboe
    38. The Way We Were
    39. Last Christmas
    40. Hark The Herald Angels Sing
    41. As Long As He Needs Me
    42. Soul Bossa Nova
    43. Marriage Of Figaro: Duettino Sul Aria
    44. One Day Like This
    45. Jerusalem
    46. Swan Lake: Introduction
    47. Send In The Clowns
    48. I Left My Heart In San Francisco
    49. My Heart Will Go On
    50. Les Mis: Bring Him Home
    51. Carmen: Intermezzo
    52. Ain't No Mountain High Enough
    53. South Pacific - Some Enchanted Evening
    54. Verdi - La Traviata - Siempre Libre
    55. Have I Told You Lately
    56. Time To Say Goodbye
    57. True Friends
    58. Hello Dolly
    59. Daydream Believer
    60. Requiem - Pie Jesu
    61. Someone To Watch Over Me
    62. The Sound Of Music: Climb Every Mountain
    63. The Producers
    64. Nessun Dorma
    65. Star Of Bethlehem
    66. Nowhere Man
    67. Marino Waltz
    68. The Christmas Song
    69. Hope from 'Irish Destiny'
    70. In Your Eyes
    71. Why Me?
    72. Rock 'n' Roll Kids
    73. O Holy Night
    74. Dances With Wolves
    75. Wind Beneath My Wings
    76. Old Man River
    77. Fields of Athenry
    78. Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
    79. O Mio Babbino Caro
    80. Suite from The Quiet Man
    81. Over The Rainbow
    82. Libertango
    83. Adagio from Spartacus
    84. The Bridge (An Droichead)
    85. Theme from JFK/West Wing
    86. Memory from Cats
    87. Un Bel Di
    88. Ave Maria
    89. Elizabethan Serenade
    90. Born Free
    91. Can't Take My Eyes Off of You (You're Just Too Good To Be True)
    92. As Long As He Needs Me
    93. Por Una Cabeza
    94. Troika
    95. When A Child Is Born
    96. I'll Be Home For Christmas
    97. Baby, It's Cold Outside
    98. Trepak from The Nutcracker Suite
    99. Once Upon A Time In The West
    100. Vilia from The Merry Widow
    101. Jingle Bells Forever
    102. Va Pensiero (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves)
    103. Song Of Bernadette
    104. Harry's Wonderous World
    105. Lament
    106. You Raise Me Up
    107. Silent Night 1915
    108. Do Re Me
    109. Somewhere Over The Rainbow
    110. O Holy Night
    111. A Christmas Festival/ Sleigh Ride
    112. Theme From Dragnet
    113. Fiddler On The Roof
    114. Nella Fantasia
    115. Flower Duet
    116. Champagne Polka
    117. One Fine Day (from Madame Butterfly)
    118. The Coolin
    119. Hymn To Hope
    120. Everybody Hurts
    121. 80's TV Themes Medley
    122. We Have All The Time In The World
    123. 633 Squadron
    124. Star Trek
    125. Le Basque
    126. Cavatina
    127. We Shall Overcome
    128. It's For You
    129. When I Fall In Love
    130. Hallelujah
    131. Cinema Paradiso
    132. Impossibly Beautiful
    133. Danny Boy
    134. You'll Never Walk Alone
    135. Riverdance
    136. Hawaii Five-O
    137. William Tell Overture
    138. A Summer Place / Music To Watch Girls By
    139. Everybody’s Talking
    140. Sunday Miscellany theme
    141. Onedin Line / Spartacus
    142. Gabriel’s Oboe – The Mission
    143. Radetsky March
    144. Anvil Chorus
    145. Mise Eire
    146. Classical Gas
    147. If
    148. Ravel’s Bolero
    149. Barccarolle - O Sole Mio
    150. Chariots Of Fire
    151. Hallelujah Chorus
    152. Cavalleria Rusticana

    Mooney Tunes 10 will take place on Friday, June 13th at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre at 8pm. Tickets will go on sale the program is finalised. We want people to nominate from the list of tunes on the website. And we may even include a couple of surprises. It will be the middle of the summer, so why not think of some of your summer favourites!? E-mail, with the subject line 'Mooney Tunes 10'!

    Nathan Carter House Party!

    How would you fancy a little bit of country star Nathan Carter in the front room of your house? The really good news is Nathan Carter has agreed to do a house party for a Mooney listener anywhere in the country on Tuesday, May 13th.

    That's the one and only Nathan Carter, who topped the Irish charts despite stiff competition from international artists including Kodaline & One Direction, and who will play for one lucky listener. In our Mooney House Party shows, top Irish entertainers come into your home and sing exclusively for you, your friends and family.

    They have been tremendously success with entertainers such as Brian Kennedy, The Furey Brothers and Davey Arthur, Paul Harington, Jack L and Daniel O'Donnell! Our singers have performed in a listener's kitchen, front room and even in a barn.

    Well if you fancy the wonderfully talented Nathan Carter in your home, all you have to do is e-mail Mooney and tell us why you want Nathan with you? Are you his number one fan? Have you travelled the lent and breath of the country to see him sing? Have you a special anniversary or celebration coming up? Or simply, would you just like a knees up in your own home?

    Whatever the reason, e-mail and tell us why you want Nathan there and who you’d have there, and why you deserve to have him - and don’t forget to give us your phone number!

    The date again is Tuesday, May 13th - so get in touch now!

    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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