Mooney, Friday August 8th 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 Goes Wild today...

On Mooney Goes Wild today...

We are live at the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show at the RDS, where Ireland attempt to reclaim the Aga Khan Trophy from Great Britain. We find out about some remarkable new software that can actually decode and analyse birdsong. And we talk to Gerry Fleming, from the Met Éireann, and RTÉ presenter John Creedon, whose new TV show looks at unusual recent weather patterns, and where our weather is likely to go next...

Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show - Aga Khan

Did you know that the Dublin Horse Show has been held since 1864? And that Switzerland were the winners of the very first Aga Khan Trophy, back in 1926?

The 2014 Dublin Horse Show began on Wednesday, and will continue until Sunday, August 10th. The Aga Khan Trophy is the highlight of the week, and we'll have live coverage of the Trophy throughout the programme this afternoon, with RTÉ's Brendan McArdle...

The teams competing for the Aga Khan are:

1 Germany
2 Ireland
3 Britain
4 Netherlands
6 Ukraine
7 France
8 Sweden

The Irish team taking part are:

Darragh Kenny (Imothep)
Bertram Allen (Molly Malone V)
Cian O’Connor (Quidam’s Cherie)
Dermott Lennon (Loughview Lou Lou)

The Aga Khan Trophy is the 8th and final leg of the Nations Cup series. Ireland currently sit 8th of the 10 teams in Europe's Division 1. Britain are defending champions. Ireland finished joint 3rd last year. Ireland last won in 2012, and have won the Aga Khan Trophy twenty times.

For more information about the Dublin Horse Show, visit To learn more about the history of the Aga Khan, click here.

Creedon's Weather: Four Seasons In One Day

'Creedon's Weather: Four Seasons In One Day ' is a new three-part series which begins this Sunday on RTÉ 1 at 18:30. The series looks at the recent extremes of hot and cold and wet weather we have been having in recent years. To explain more, we are joined from RTÉ's Cork studio today by presenter John Creedon, and in studio in Donnybrook by Ger Fleming, Head of Weather Forecasting Division at Met Éireann.

Creedon’s Weather: Four Seasons In One Day

Creedon’s Weather: Four Seasons In One Day is a new three-part series which begins this Sunday on RTÉ 1 at 18:30.

The series looks at the recent extremes of hot and cold and wet weather we have been having in recent years, to find out what is going on... For more information about ther series, visit

To explain more, we are joined from RTÉ's Cork studio today by presenter John Creedon, and in studio in Donnybrook by Ger Fleming, Head of Weather Forecasting Division at Met Éireann.

The John Creedon Show airs weeknights at 8pm on RTÉ Radio 1.

Decoding Birdsong

Decoding Birdsong

Regular listeners to the show will know that every May, Mooney Goes Wild dedicates a one-off programme to our feathered friends and their magnificent dawn chorus.

A large part of our effort in the annual Dawn Chorus special is spent trying to identify the birds involved, an exercise that always involves numerous pairs of finely tuned ears and extensive ornithological knowledge. 

Soon, however, we may have computer technology to help us because scientists have developed a highly advanced bird song decoder, which, they claim, can automatically identify the call of a vast variety of birds.

Dr. Dan Stowell

To tell us more, Dr. Dan Stowell, Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary, University of London, joins us from the BBC Western House studio in London...

At present, this is just a prototype, but could be developed into a commonly available app, and so could be used in conservation with a mic placed in fields to tell when threatened birds arrive.

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


***Download the Dawn Chorus 2017 podcasts***

Dawn Chorus 2017 - First Hour - 00:00 - 01:00

Dawn Chorus 2017 - Second Hour - 01:00 - 02:00

Dawn Chorus 2017 - Third Hour - 02:00 - 03:00

Dawn Chorus 2017 - Fourth Hour - 03:00 - 04:00

Dawn Chorus 2017 - Fifth Hour - 04:00 - 05:00

Dawn Chorus 2017 - Sixth Hour - 05:00 - 06:00



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Presenter: Derek Mooney


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