Mooney, Thursday July 17th 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...

Derek is joined in studio by broadcaster and football commentator George Hamilton, post-World Cup, and satirist, impressionist and all-round funnyman Oliver Callan, on the joys of kicking the establishment!

Follow-Up: Older Ladies & Shining Shoes

Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh will be filling in for Brenda Donohue as Mooney reporter over the next three weeks, and she pops in today to chat with Derek about the older ladies item we featured yesterday!

Oliver Callan

Oliver Callan

A new television show hit our screens last week from an old friend of Mooney. Oliver Callan's satirical journey began with Nob Nation on the late Gerry Ryan's 2fm show back in 2006. He subsequently moved to Radio 1 with Green Tea, where RTÉ bosses expanded his air time to give him a half an hour a week in which to terrorise the political, media and journalistic classes of the country.

Last year, in a new Friday show, his show morphed into Callan's Kicks, and he has transferred that now to RTÉ Television. To remind us of the characters and situations he lampoons, he joins us in studio today...

Callan's Kicks continues on RTÉ One on Fridays at 9.35pm. For more information about Oliver, visit

Save Our Swans!

Save Our Swans!

As you know, we're committed wildlife lovers here on Mooney Goes Wild, so it was with dismay we read an e-mail from listener Joe Sullivan telling us of some suspicious activity on Dublin's Royal Canal.

He sent us a picture of a very attractive Mute Swan couple (left) and their four fluffy cygnets and he said:

"Last Thursday at 7pm in Phibsborough, I noticed a large red and white van with three men in it who seemed to be making towards the swans until I cycled past. I took a picture of their registration plate and they made off fairly quickly.  This isn’t the first time I have seen an incident like this and I would just like to appeal to people to be vigilant about our swans".

Well, we applaud Joe for his civic-minded behaviour and his love of wildlife so we dispatched our swan expert Richard Collins and local Wildlife Ranger Neil Harmey off to meet Joe at the scene of the suspicious activity, on the banks of the Royal Canal...

99s: How Do You Eat Yours?

99s: How Do You Eat Yours?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, no less, a 99 is "an ice-cream cone made with soft ice cream with a stick of flaky chocolate inserted into it".

What the Oxford English Dictionary doesn't tell you is that it’s YUMMY! In this gorgeous weather, you seem to see more people with 99's than any other type of ice-cream, or ice-lolly.

And the Oxford English Dictionary doesn't tell you how you should eat a 99 either. Apparently, there isn't an art to eating the famous ice cream; as Mooney reporter Brenda Donohue found out, everyone has their own particular approach to gobbling a 99...

Kilmacurragh Botanic Gardens

The National Botanic Gardens have an outpost that is a little secret gem. It is the Kilmacurragh Botanic Gardens located in east County Wicklow. The soil there is more advantageous than that in Glasnevin for growing plants from the Himalayas and the Southern hemisphere. It is full of rare and valuable plants, including some spectacular Giant Himalayan Lillies, which only flower every seven years and are in bloom right now!

Giant Himalayan Lillies

As well as the exotic, the estate also champions native species. Over the past five years it has been experimenting how to successfully restore Irish wildflower meadows and hedgerows.

The meadow at Kilmacurragh

Mooney gardener Dermot O'Neill went down to find out more at Kilmacurragh, where he met with head gardener Seamus O'Brien at the ruins of the Estate House and the site of an ancient abbey...

Entry into Kilmacurragh is free. To find out more about the Kilmacurragh Estate, including visiting details, click here. And there will be an exhibition called "Kilmacurragh Through The Artist's Eye" open on the premises from August 8th - 27th.

George Hamilton's Memories Of Brazil '14

We Are One (Ole, Ola) was the official anthem for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but it will fade from our memories now that the tournament has come to an end. The hosts, Brazil, were very disappointed with their own team's performance but they can be proud of the tournament – many regard it as the best World Cup ever!

George Hamilton

One man who witnessed events, up close and personal, so to speak, was RTÉ commentator George Hamilton, who is now back in Belfast, but who joins us on the programme this afternoon...

George's classical music programme on RTÉ Lyric FM is on Saturdays, from 10am - 1pm. For more information, visit

Singles Night Out!

Singles Night Out!

We are organising a singles night out for our listeners who are over 35! The where and when is still being finalised, but if you are interested in joining in the fun, then send us an e-mail! Let us know your age, gender, and if you are single. You must be available to travel to the venue at your own expense. Please send your e-mail to, with the subject line 'Singles Night Out'. And keep listening for further information!

Search For A Child Star Finalists

Search For A Child Star Finalists

Earlier this year, we launched our competition to find Ireland's newest child star. The competition was open to boys and girls who were aged 10 years old or under. We asked you to record a piece that was no more than three minutes long, and e-mail it in to us.

The finalists, in no particular order, are:

- Hannah Kinsella (9 years old, from Lucan, Co. Dublin) with Pushover
- Nikki Brown (8 years old, from Saggart, Co. Dublin) with Colours Of The Wind
- Anna Lily Fox (6 years old, from Ballinalee, Co. Longford) with a Johnny Cash medley
- Laoise Farrell (9 years old, from Ogonnolloe. Co. Clare) with The Call
- Alannah Bermingham (10 years old, from Kilmacud, Dublin) with Colours Of The Wind

The date for the final will be announced shortly and the winner will perform at our Christmas Mooney Tunes concert.

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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