Wednesday, March 6th 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!

On Mooney today...

We hear about the scientists who are screening people in Tyrone for a gene which causes gigantism, and we speak to the researchers who concluded that 1 in every 10 people in the world take an interest in Manchester United's matches!



A question for you: how often do you visit your GP in a year? Maybe you’re very healthy and you never go. Maybe you have need to go frequently. Maybe you have a baby who gets sick a lot.

Well the average Irish adult visits their GP 2.8 times a year. Let’s call that 3 times a year. And if you don’t have a medical card it can be an expensive business - anywhere from €40 to €70 for a visit. So let’s say the average Irish adult pays about €165 a year in GP’s fees.

But, what if you were to pay a flat fee? A yearly GP membership? And you could go to the doctor as often as you like from as little as €10 a month. That’s an immediate saving of €45… and counting!

Would that appeal to you? Dublin now has two ‘GP NOW’ clinics who offer this service and they’re hoping to roll it out to the whole country.

Tristan Healy is the General Manager of GP NOW, and he joins Derek in studio to explain more about the service...  To learn more, visit

Giants In Mid-Ulster

Giants In Mid-Ulster

The tallest man in the world is Sultan Kösen. He is a part time farmer living in Turkey and in February 2011 he measured 2.51 meters – or 8 feet and 3 inches.

Guinness World Records show he is one of only thirteen people in medical history to stand at a verified height of eight feet - that’s 2.44 meters - or more.

Another of that select group of 13 people was Irishman Patrick Cotter O’Brien, who was 2.46 metres – or 8 feet 1 inch (pictured).

Patrick was born in Kinsale in 1760. He was also known as the Bristol Giant and appeared in a circus type of show. He asked his mother to bury him within twelve feet of solid rock. He did not want to be exhumed for medical research. This, however, did not happen. His arm is currently preserved in the Medical Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons in London.

The same Museum has the 7 feet 7 inch - 2.31 metres – skeletal remains of Charles Byrne, who was from Littlebridge in County Tyrone, which is not far from the shores of Lough Neagh.

Back in the 1800’s, Charles made his fame and fortune in London where people queued to view his huge frame.

Researchers from Queens University in Belfast are trying to establish whether, in fact, in Charles Byrne’s homeland in rural Tyrone and South Derry, there might be such a thing as a giant ‘hot spot’?

BBC Radio Foyle's Mark Patterson has been investigating…

K Club Wedding Follow-Up

K Club Wedding Follow-Up

Well, we had hundreds of entries to our competition for a dream wedding reception in the 5 star K Club in Straffan, Co. Kildare, and on February 14th, Valentine’s Day, Brenda surprised the winning couple.

Colin Kerrigan is from Rhode in Co. Offaly; he entered the competition and told us about the love of his life, Linda Davey.

They had been through a very tough time, as their son Bobby was born in December 2010 but had heart compilations and died three days later.

Their pain and heartbreak made then even stronger together and last September they were overjoyed to welcome their daughter Millie into the world.

Colin is a private in the Irish Army and Brenda surprised him in the Curragh Camp, where he is based. She told him the good news that they had won the wedding in the K Club. Then, both Brenda and a very emotional Colin, travelled to Edenderry to tell his finance, Linda Davey the great news.

The prize is a wedding reception for 100 guests, beginning with a canapé and champagne reception on arrival, followed by a five course meal for the winning couple and their guests as well as lots of other extras.

Well, the dust has settled and the couple must pick a date. Brenda brought them to met the K Club’s wedding planner, Susie Hopkins...

And they have decided that they will get married there on Friday, August 23rd!

Working At A Treadmill Station

So many of us are now at work at a desk, hunched over a computer, tapping away on the keyboard - but this is NOT what the human body was designed to do! The human body is a far more dynamic organism than that, and it needs stimulation!

According to the latest Australian research, if you spend more than six hours a day sitting at a desk, you are at a higher risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes - not to mention obesity.

So what do you do?

Well, you could join some kind of sports club. Go hiking every weekend. Spend a fortune on a gym membership.

Or do what Brian Slick has done, and design your own workstation around a treadmill! And get fit while you work!

Katriona McFadden went down to the gym armed with her laptop and phone, to see how easy it could be to work whilst using the treadmill.

And Derek is joined on the line by Brian, from his home in Fairfax, Virginia, just outside of Washington DC.

To read Brian's blog, visit

 Brian Slick

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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