The robin, not the turkey, is the real Christmas bird; you'll find him on cards, cakes and Christmas trees. But is Robin Redbreast having us on? Is he really the friendly and gentle little fellow he seems? Does he deserve his special Christmas place? Dr. Richard Collins, scientific adviser to Mooney Goes Wild, investigates! To read more about this special documentary, and to listen to the programme, click here.
On Mooney Goes Wild today...
We chat to the Irish man advising Barack Obama on the future development of California's deserts, learn the science behind the Ebola virus and other infectious diseases threatening global health in the 21st century, and anthropologist Chris Terrill tells us about new footage of an Amazon tribe...
We start the programme by chatting about hogweed, elephant hawkmoths and a photo sent in to us by listener John Curran, who said:
I was up in City West yesterday evening, and saw what I thought was a funny looking seagull. When I look closer it appeared to be a snow white crow (not albino as the eyes were black not pink). Is there such a bird and if so are they rare in Ireland.
I have attached a picture. Thanks, John Curran
Our panel of Dr. Richard Collins and Eanna ni Lamhna chat to Derek about what the bird could be...
The American Centre for Disease Control has described the deadly Ebola Virus as "a dreadful and merciless virus". Ebola has killed more than 700 people in West Africa, in what is one of the worst outbreaks in history.
So what exactly is Ebola? Where has it come from? And what makes a virus like Ebola so deadly while other viruses like the common cold are relatively harmless.
Professor Kingston Mills
To explain more, Derek is joined in studio this afternoon by Dr Kingston Mills, Professor of Experimental Immunology at Trinity College...
From Africa, we head to the USA, to the West Coast and the deserts of California. Up until very recently, development in these environmentally sensitive areas, which make up a larger geographical area than Ireland, was on an almost ad hoc basis.
Now for the first time, a concerted effort is being made to plan ahead in a co-ordinated and thought-out fashion to maximise the deserts' many potential uses over the coming generations.
And an Irishman is at the heart of it! He is Leslie Barrett, he's the Founder and President of Celtic Energy, and he was recently appointed a representative of the renewable energy industry on the California Desert District Advisory Council. And he joins us in studio to explain what that entails, and how he proposes to get the most from the Californian deserts!
If you've been watching your TVs in the last couple of hours, you may have seen video footage of indigenous people in Brazil, carrying bows and arrows, wearing very little, crossing a river and communicating with some native people. One of the natives is seen handing over a bunch of bananas to one of the indigenous people:
What’s so special about that? Well, it appears that these indigenous people may well be members of one of the 70 odd tribes in the Amazon rainforest that have never had previous contact with the outside world.
Chris Terrill is a British anthropologist, adventurer, author and filmmaker, and he joins Derek on the line to explain more about the tribe...
Taster Of Mooney Tunes 10
If you are sitting out in the garden on Monday, enjoying the Bank Holiday weekend, enjoying the weather, we have a suggestion for you: a perfect musical accompaniment to a relaxing August Bank Holiday Monday!
This Bank Holiday Monday, August 5th, RTÉ Radio 1 listeners will be in for a real treat, as the 10th in our hugely successful series of Mooney Tunes concerts will be broadcast.
Mooney Tunes 10 was recorded on Friday, June 13th 2014, at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. And we've selected highlights from the show for broadcast from 3pm until 4:30pm on Monday.
Unfortunately, we don't have time to broadcast all two hours of the concert! It really was a terrific evening, with some outstanding talent.
As usual, we partnered with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, which was led on the night by a terrific violinist, Bronagh Cahill, and conducted by Gearoid Grant.
Mooney Tunes 10 was sort of "best of", featuring some of the highlights from the last nine concerts. And we had some of our best musical friends performing on the evening, including the Celtic Tenors, superstar jazz vocalist Clare Teal, Finbar Furey, sopranos Mairead Buick and Celine Quinn, Jerry Fish, and the Omagh Community Youth Choir.
Today, we give you a flavour of the evening. We Shall Overcome is an old African-American spiritual, but was adopted by various civil rights movements in the 1960s. And for better or worse, it's a song which has an enduring relevance all around the world, to this very day. It's performed by Clare Teal and The Celtic Tenors...
As part of 'WWI 100 Years'. RTÉ has produced new events and content to mark the 100 years since the start of the World War 1. A number of special programmes will be broadcast on RTÉ TV and Radio to commemorate the event - full details are available by visiting www.rte.ie/worldwar1/schedule.
This Sunday, August 3rd, RTÉ Radio 1's programming continues from 20:00 - 21:30 with the Drama On One plays Echoes From The Front, and Signpost To The City, with Joan Sheehy.
On Tuesday, June 3rd, two of the three Herring Gull eggs on the roof of Stage 7 in RTÉ hatched, and our two young chicks have been keeping listeners entertained and enthralled with their development over the last two months. This afternoon, Niall Hatch, who is Development Officer with BirdWatch Ireland, has joined us with a major update on our young Gull chicks...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line 'Singles Night Out'. And keep listening for further information!
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 (www.npws.ie) 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 www.irishwildlifematters.ie