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, with Neil Delamere...
As designer Karl Lagerfeld said last week he would marry his cat, we've decided to track down Ireland's most pampered pet. And, are these the most optimistic people in the country? Brenda Donohue tracks the rise and rise of beach volleyball in Ireland! We find out about the ring that will always remind you of your anniversary, Fergus Sweeney attends an upcycling workshop, and Olan McGowan has more examples of the world's biggest cons!
"I’d MARRY my cat!" was the headline-grabbing quote from fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld recently, when talking about his cat, Choupette. The 77-year old dotes on the 22-month old white moggie. So much so she has two personal maids at his Paris mansion, her own personal iPad and her own Twitter account! And her eyes are said to have inspired a cornflower-blue collection for Chanel, the fashion house for which Lagerfeld is Head Designer!!
Well it got us thinking about 'Pampered Pets'… We know they can’t just be confined to Paris. We know there are lot of them in Ireland too.
So we’ve decided to have a bit of fun with it….
We’re going to have a little competition to find 'Ireland’s Most Pampered Pet' - AND award the owner a little prize.
Pretty much everyone LOVES their pets, so what we’re looking for are the most 'Pampered Pets'. We are looking for mollycoddled moggies, pampered pooches, indulged insects and spoiled-rotten rabbits. Any sort of pet who is totally doted on – to the point of distraction!
There are people out there who spend a lot of time and money on their pets. Way more than the basics required to care for them. They take them everywhere, they bring them on holidays, they cook them special food, they buy them clothes, they groom them A LOT. They buy them special gadgets, they give them free reign of the house. The pets are the most important ‘personality’ in the house .
And what we’re saying is send us in a picture of your Pampered Pet - and tell us why you think this is the 'Most Pampered Pet in Ireland'. It’s as simple as that! You can e-mail pictures and stories to firstname.lastname@example.org (please mark your e-mail 'Pampered Pet') or post them to Pampered Pets, c/o Mooney, RTÉ Radio 1, Radio Centre, Donnybrook, Dublin 4.
The deadline to submit entries is this Monday, 17/06/13 at 5pm, and the winner will be announced on Tuesday’s show.
The prize is truly special. Frances and John Brennan have offered us a two-night weekend break for two people sharing one room in the beautiful 5-star Park Hotel overlooking Kenmare Bay in Co Kerry. You’ll receive breakfast on both mornings and dinner on an evening of your choice.
The Park Hotel in Kenmare, Kerry
AND you can bring your pet! Because the Park Kenmare is a pet-friendly hotel and has kennels you can use for dogs or any pet you fancy bringing along. Smaller pets will probably need to be kept in travel-cages but can be housed in the kennels overnight.
It seems like a century ago now since we had the nice weather, but last Saturday our Brenda Donohue was out playing beach volleyball!
Last Saturday, a fun social 4-a-side tournament took place (two girls and two guys), and Brenda went along to find out more... She began by speaking to Miriam Gormley, President of The Beach Volleyball Association of Ireland.
We’re always keen to bring you money saving tips on this programme and today we’re going to tell you how to freshen up your living room, or bring a touch of class to the bedroom. How could I do that, we hear you cry? Upcycling is the answer, and our producer Fergus Sweeney is in studio today to tell us more!
Fergus was in Cork recently, and passed a shop called The Paint Pot. They offer "upcycling Furniture Workshops". So instead of bringing your old armchair, or sideboard to a specialist or dropping it into the shop to have it restored you bring it in and do it yourself.
Example of an upcycled chair
The shop was started last August by two women, Jackie Cogan and Connie O’Kennedy. Connie told Fergus about some of the items of furniture that people are upcycling in her workshops; he also spoke to one of the participants in the Paint Shop Upcycling class, Sienna, who was bringing a wooden bookshelf back to live!
A half day workshop, between 10am to 1pm, is €60. A full day workshop costs €120. The Paint Shop is located in Angelsea Street in Cork. You can find out more on The Paint Shop's Facebook page.
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.
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 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!
People will know Frank best as he was betrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie Catch Me If You Can.
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.
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