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 today...
Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh continues her behind-the-scenes look at one of Ireland's busiest hospitals, St James's, as she talks to patient advocacy groups. And we have an exclusive performance from the extraordinary Georgian Male voice choir, Basiani, ahead of their opening of the Kilkenny Arts Festival this weekend...
You might remember earlier this year we had an e-mail saying we were a bit "one-dimensional" when it came to our musical choices. It was around Eurovision time. And the e-mail was sent by a non-Eurovision fan, needless to say!
Now with the amount we do on Mooney Tunes, we're not sure how anybody could make that accusation. But certainly after hearing today's guests, we don't think "one-dimensional" could ever be levelled at this show again.
Joining Derek outside, in the beautiful gardens of RTÉ, are thirteen strapping men from the Eastern European country of Georgia.
They are members of a traditional Georgian choir called Basiani, and they are over here to perform at the Kilkenny Arts Festival tomorrow night. 'Basiani' is the name of one of the regions in Southwest Georgia (in what is now modern-day Turkey, northwest of the town of Erzurum). Zurab is the leader of the choir; Derek has a chat with Zurab, and we hear a couple of songs from the choir...
Derek talking to Zurab
Basiani will perform tomorrow night, Friday, August 8th, at 8pm in St. Canice's Cathedral, in Kilkenny. Tickets are priced from €19 - €26. This is your one and only opportunity to see the group perform in Ireland! For more information, visit www.kilkennyarts.ie.
Picture yourself in a graveyard, looking at all the various headstones. Do you ever imagine what those people were like, all of those faceless individuals, buried six feet under the ground you are walking on?
Each one of those people was a son, daughter, brother, sister, mother, father, an aunt or an uncle, a grandmother or grandfather. Many had lovers, colleagues, acquaintances, friends and enemies alike. And every one of them had his or her own life story, completely unique to them.
Now imagine you could tap into that life story with the touch of a button. Rather than a few words of an epitaph, etched into a tombstone, and invariably ending with the words "rest in peace", you could access a full obituary for each of those people in the graveyard. And all in digital form, through your mobile phone.
Some people might be horrified by that idea. Some people might think, " When I go, I want to ACTUALLY 'rest in peace!'". Others might think, "Fantastic - now I can live forever, as people stroll over to my gravestone to find out all about MEEEE!"
So if you want to live forever in a digital form, or want the memory of a family member preserved for all to see, Stephen Nimmo might have something just for you.
He is the Managing Director of the Chester Pearce Funeral Service in Dorset in the UK, and joins us from the BBC studio in Bournemouth to tell us all about using QR codes on headstones...
In the final of three reports from St. James' Hospital in Dublin, Bláthnaid ni Chofaigh continues to look around the largest academic hospital in Dublin. Did you know that St. James is one of the oldest - when it opened in 1727, those on the board of the hospital included Arthur Guinness and Dean Swift...
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 email@example.com, 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