Mooney Goes Wild

    Sunday, 10pm-11pm, RTÉ Radio 1

    Tuesday, June 11th 2013

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    On Mooney today, with Neil Delamere...

    Neil talks to The Naked Tour Guide – an enterprising Irish student making waves in Prague. We find out about the Limerick man preparing to row two thousand miles across the Arctic Ocean. And get your calls in to podiatrist Mary Moore who’ll be advising on limiting the damage caused by six inch heels! E-mail us now on mooney@rte.ie, tweet @MooneyShow, or from 3pm call 1850 715 900 or text 51551.

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    Big Cons Of Our Time

    The 1973 movie The Sting is probably the greatest movie ever made about the whole "industry" of confidence trickery. And what an industry it is!

    Conmen have been around for as long as money itself. And just in case you think these characters are exaggerated in works of fiction, like The Sting, think again!

    Two stories involving conmen were covered in the papers over the last week, both with connections to our little island.

    The first concerned a former U.S. Air Force pilot, who pleaded guilty recently for working fraudulently as a commercial airline pilot.

    The second involved a very charming young Colombian man, who managed to con his way into the very exclusive Merrion Hotel in Dublin, walking away with €40,000 and some very nice jewellery!

    Producer Olan McGowan has been looking into these two stories. And we've also decided to "celebrate", if that's the right word, some of the world’s most legendary confidence tricksters.

    Charles Ponzi

    We've all heard of "Ponzi schemes". But they were actually named after a guy called Charles Ponzi, and Italian businessman who became known in the early 1920s as a swindler in North America for his money making scheme. Charles Ponzi promised clients a 50% profit within 45 days, or 100% profit within 90 days, by buying discounted postal reply coupons in other countries and redeeming them at face value in the United States. In reality, Ponzi was paying early investors using the investments of later investors. This type of scheme is now known as a "Ponzi scheme".

    Gregor MacGregor

    Gregor MacGregor made his fortune and reputation in the early 1800s when he convinced hundreds of investors that he was the prince of the fictional country of Poyois!

    Frank Abagnale

    People will know Frank best as he was betrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie Catch Me If You Can.

    Robert Hendy-Freegard

    Born in 1971, Robert was a British barman, car salesman, conman and impostor - who masqueraded as an MI5 agent.  For more on this fascinating story, you can read this Guardian article all about Hendy-Freegard: www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2005/sep/06/ukcrime.

    Clifford Michael Irving

    Born on November 5th, 1930, Clifford is an American investigative reporter and writer. He is known for a fake "autobiography" of Howard Hughes in the early 1970s.

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    Arctic Rowing Adventure

    A Limerick man in a little row boat is about to take on a 3,000 kilometre journey in an attempt to become the first to do it on human power alone and in one season. His name is Paul Gleeson and he joins Neil in studio today!

    On July 1, Paul and his fellow rowers will attempt to row 2,000 miles across the infamous North West Passage in the Canadian High Arctic, starting in Inuvik (Northern Canada) and finishing in Pond Inlet (On Baffin Island). It is a sea route through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of North America via waterways amidst the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

    To find out more about Paul’s Adventure visit www.mainstreamlastfirst.com.  And for more information about Paul, visit www.paulgleeson.com.

    The book that Paul and his rowing partner Tori wrote in 2010 about their Atlantic exploits is called Crossing The Swell: An Atlantic Journey By Rowboat, and is published by Rocky Mountain Books.

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    High Heels

    Our feet are one of the hardest working parts of our body, walking perhaps hundreds of thousands of kilometers in our lifetime.

    So why are men and women willing to suffer uncomfortable shoes that can cause long-term damage including trapped nerves, arthritis and stress fractures which may even require surgery - all for the beauty of a six inched heel?!

    Podiatrist Mary Moore has come in today to share her thoughts on a recent survey which says that half the female population in the UK will put up with foot problems for the sake of fashion...

    To visit Mary's website, go to www.marymoorepodiatry.ie.

    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.

    IMPORTANT NOTICE

    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

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