Mooney, Monday August 19th 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 Brenda Donohue...

On Mooney today, with Brenda Donohue...

Former Coronation Street actor Rupert Hill tells us about life after his stint on the iconic TV soap, and we chat to the champion of Celebrity MasterChef Ireland: David Gillick! Plus: we preview the Rose of Tralee Festival with reporter Colm Flynn and fan Helen England, and Olive Halpin tells us why she set up the Ray Of Sunshine charity to improve education facilities in Mombasa, Kenya, and why broadcaster Derek Davis also became involved.

Rupert Hill

For three years, Rupert Hill starred in Coronation Street as Jamie Baldwin, the grandson of Street legend Mike Baldwin, during which time he enjoyed romances with Leanne, Maria, and controversially with his step-mother Frankie (played by Debra Stephenson). But it was his relationship with barmaid Violet Wilson that was the most significant - both for Jamie Baldwin, and for Rupert, as he went on to marry the actress who played Violet, Jenny Platt.

Violet Wilson and Jamie Baldwin, played by real-life couple Jenny Platt and Rupert Hill

Having left the cobblestones of Weatherfield far behind, Rupert will be coming to Dublin next month, when he appears in the Peter Shaffer play The Private Ear and The Public Eye at the Gaiety Theatre.  The two one-act plays, performed as a matching pair on the same night, provide a fascinating insight into the turbulent changing attitudes to love in the 1960s.

Today, Rupert joins Brenda in the studio to chat about Corrie, his new play, his pubs, and his passion for music!

The Private Ear and The Public Eye take place from September 10th - 14th at Dublin's Gaiety Theatre. Tickets are from €15 - €40.  For more information about the production, click here.

Celebrity MasterChef Ireland

He’s the only Irishman to run 400 metres in less than 45 seconds. He’s a two-time European Indoor Champion, and yesterday evening he was crowned as winner of Celebrity Masterchef 2013!

David Gillick sprints into studio to today to tell Brenda Donohue all about his Celebrity MasterChef Ireland experience!

To find out more, read this RTÉ Ten interview with David on his departure, or if you missed the programme last night, you can watch it back on the RTÉ Player by clicking here.

To visit the website for the series, click here.

A Ray Of Sunshine For Kenyan Education

A Ray Of Sunshine For Kenyan Education

"Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world". So said Nelson Mandela.

It brings to mind another quote: "Education, Education, Education". Thus spake Tony Blair, when he became British Prime Minister in 1997, when he promised to make education a priority.

And few would disagree that education is the key to prosperity, better job opportunities, improved health, democracy etc...

Here in this country we might complain about class sizes, cuts to Special Needs Assistants, sub standard classrooms and the like but compared to what children in some parts of the world have to cope with, we have nothing to complain about.

Olive Halpin has taken it open herself to improve the educational facilities of children in Mombasa, Kenya, and she joins us in studio today to tell us about working in the village of Jamvi La Wageni in Mombasa, and the charity she has set up there, the Ray of Sunshine Foundation.

Retired broadcaster Derek Davis is Patron of the foundation, and he's also in studio today to chat about the work the charity does...

The Ray Of Sunshine foundation welcomes all help, and is specifically looking for five plasterers and five blocklayers. If you would like to get involved, phone Olive on 087 699-4599 or to find out more about the Ray Of Sunshine Foundation, visit

The Rose Of Tralee International Festival

The Rose Of Tralee International Festival

It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but the Rose of Tralee is still going strong and will, no doubt, attract a huge audience tonight and tomorrow night on RTÉ Television - a massive 850,000 tuned in last year!

Colm Flynn is backstage at the dome, and reports today on how the final preparations are going...

Presented by Dáithí O Sé, the 54th International Rose of Tralee Selection will be broadcast live from the festival dome in Tralee, Co. Kerry tonight and tomorrow. The event will be broadcast on RTÉ One from 8pm with a break for the Nine O'Clock News.

For more information about the Rose Of Tralee International Festival, visit the official website:

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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