Mooney, Thursday July 18th 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, with Shay Byrne...

On Mooney today, with Shay Byrne...

We celebrate 25 years of Hello magazine in the company of royal watcher Noel Cunningham, we discover the dangers of dabbling in the dark world of the occult, and John McColgan tells us about attempting to set a new world record for Riverdancing!

25 Years Of Hello! Magazine!

25 Years Of Hello! Magazine!

They’ve taken us inside the homes of the royal family, we’ve seen the very first pictures of babies born to Hollywood’s most glamorous couples, and we’ve shared the most intimate moments of the rich and famous on their wedding day. All courtesy of Hello! magazine, which has been on the go for 25 years now!

Did it coincide with the era of "celebrity culture", or did it fuel this obsession? How has Hello! maintained its' advantage over rivals like OK!, Now and Heat? Will Twitter spell the end for the multi-million pound celebrity-obsessed publishing industry? Noel Cunningham is in studio and may have some answers...

Dangers Of The Occult

Dangers Of The Occult

On yesterday ‘s programme, one of our guests was hypnotist and magician Keith Barry, who is currently appearing in Dublin’s Olympia theatre. His show is called The Dark Side, and it addresses the paranormal.  We got a lot of reaction to the item, with a lot of reservations expressed about the content of Keith's show.

One of those who got in contact was Fr. Eamonn Murphy, from Charleville in Co. Cork, who e-mailed us to say:

"Just listening to the last 10 minutes or so of your guest 'illusionist' on today's programme. Please warn your listeners that occult practices such as the Ouija board and invoking spirits really do work. No debunking is necessary. It is no illusion. The real danger of opening ourselves up to the occult is that we have no idea of what kind of forces we are unleashing. I am disappointed that your show should give promotional air time to something so dangerous."

Fr. Eamonn joins Shay today from our Cork studios to chat about his feelings on the use of occult practices.

What We Text About

What We Text About

As a nation, it would appear that we are among the highest-ranking in Europe when it comes to tapping out messages to friends, family and work mates.

By now you’ll be familiar with some of the less appropriate uses of texts, such as workers finding out from a message on their mobile phone that they’ve been fired – and comedian and actor Russell Brand used the same technique to tell singer Katy Perry he was filing for divorce.

So what are the messages we are sending that have us wearing out the buttons on our phones? We sent Mary Kingston into Dublin to find out!

Ireland's Drought

Ireland's Drought

It's official! As of yesterday evening, Ireland is officially in drought. Harm Luijkx, from Met Éireann, is on the line to explain why...


Royal Baby Gifts

Royal Baby Gifts

Today, we're also keeping an eye on the newswires, because any day - possibly any hour! - now, the future King or Queen of England is due to be born.

Noel Cunningham is just one of the millions of people on Royal Baby watch! And would you believe it, even before the baby’s arrival Kate and Wills have been taking receipt of gifts from their famous pals...

Elton John has composed a song, David Beckham has sent a signed football – and he’s promised to give private lessons when the child is older. Stella McCartney has designed a one-off bed spread collection. The White House has sent pearl-handled toys and antique books.

Are these appropriate gifts? What do you give the baby that will have everything? Noel has been looking at some suggestions!

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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Music Played on the Show

What A Wonderful World

What A Wonderful World

Louis Armstrong




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Presenter: Derek Mooney


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