Wednesday, February 13th 2013

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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!

Coming up today...

Should the topless models on Page 3 of the Sun finally get consigned to history, as a 1970s relic? We hear about the campaign to the page 3 phenomena. And Dermot O'Neill is in to answer all of your gardening queries!

World Radio Day

World Radio Day

Today, February 13th, is UNESCO World Radio Day — a day to "celebrate radio as a medium; to improve international co-operation between broadcasters; and to encourage major networks and community radio alike to promote access to information and freedom of expression over the airwaves".

RTÉ Radio 1 will broadcast specially recorded inserts from a range of personalities, reflecting on the power of radio. You can get a sample of the inserts here


Gardening With Dermot O'Neill

Gardening With Dermot O'Neill

The TV series that followed gardener Dermot O’Neill’s restoration of 'Clondeglass', his 19th century Victorian Walled Garden near the Slieve Bloom mountains, was a fantastic success. But the series had an added parallel story that wasn’t intended when, at the time of the shooting, Dermot learned that he had stomach cancer…

Thankfully Dermot has made a complete recovery, and today he is here to tell us about the new six-part series of Dermot’s Secret Garden that that is going to start on RTÉ One tomorrow night…

Dermot’s Secret Garden is broadcast on Thursdays at 7pm on RTÉ One - for more information, visit

Eurosong: Entry Three

Eurosong: Entry Three

Last Thursday, we premiered the five acts who will vie to represent Ireland at Eurovision 2013. The winning act will be decided on during Eurosong 2013 on The Late Late Show on Friday, February 22nd. Today, we hear again Fire, performed by Zoë Alexis Bohorquez (written by Lauren White, Niall Mooney & Willie Weeks; mentor: Niall Mooney).

Culture Bus

Culture Bus

Sometimes it can just be too much hassle to head out to the theatre, an art gallery or an exhibition. You have to find parking, the bus stop is too far away from the venue - or you are just hooked on the latest gripping storyline in Fair City!

Excuses, excuses, excuses... well a group from Dunlavin, Co. Wicklow have come up with a novel way of keeping in touch with the arts. They all travel together on the Dunlavin Culture Bus, and last week they headed up to Dublin to check out at the Natural History Museum and the latest IMMA exhibition (at the NCH). Brenda caught the bus to find out more about the Wicklow culture vultures!

No More Page 3 Girls?

No More Page 3 Girls?

In 1970, a British institution - the topless Page 3 girl - first appeared in the Sun newspaper. Her name was Stefanie Rahn, and she was pictured semi-nude on Page 3 on November 17, 1970, just over 42 years ago.

Needless to say, the intervening four decades have seen another massive cultural shift. And many people see the whole page 3 phenomenon as completely anachronistic, inappropriate and definitely not in keeping with the times.

Well, those people will have been heartened by the news today that Rupert Murdoch, who owns the Sun newspaper, might actually feel the same way. He has dropped a major hint that the topless Page 3 model might be a thing of the past!

Laura is part of the "No More Page 3" campaign, and she joins Derek on the line today from London... If you'd like to find out more information about the campaign, then you can visit their Facebook page:

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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