Mooney, Friday September 13th 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 Goes Wild today...

On Mooney Goes Wild today...

Wildlife cameraman Doug Allan tells us about his encounters with polar bears and other dangerous animals, as he captured some of television’s most spectacular natural history scenes. We find out about beekeeping for beginners, and we’ll hear about some of the worst crimes committed against animals in this country...

Doug Allan: Life Behind The Lens

Most of you reading this are most probably BIG FANS of David Attenborough’s wildlife documentaries. He has revealed some of the wonders of the natural world to us through our television screens.

But behind the great man, there is a team of directors, producers, cameramen and sound recordists all patiently waiting, in all sorts of weather conditions, to 'get the shot.

Some might think it is utter madness to watch a polar bear for an entire week, staying awake through the night, waiting for that one single shot where she shows affection to her cub – but that was one of Doug Allan’s most recent accomplishments.

One of a long list.

Doug is a freelance wildlife cameraman from Scotland. He’s the man behind some of the most extraordinary scenes you have ever seen in nature programming – and he is joins Derek in studio today...

Doug will start a 'talking tour', called Life Behind The Lens, in Ennis next Thursday. It will be a two-hour show with an interval. He uses photos and video clips, and talks about the Arctic and the Antarctic. There will be a Q&A at the end and a book signing.  It will tour throughout Ireland and the UK (full details are available by visiting, and the Irish dates are as follows:

Sept. 19th: Glór, Ennis, Co. Clare, 7.30pm, €15 (065 684 3103)
Sept. 20th: Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey, Co. Donegal, 8.30pm, €15 (074 913-1840)
Sept. 21st: Alley Arts & Conference Centre, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, 7.30pm £12.50 (048 7138 4444)
Sept. 25th: St Michael’s Theatre, New Ross, Co. Wexford, 8pm, €15 (051 421 255)
Sept. 28th: An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, 7.00pm, €15 [€12.50 concession] (074 912-0777)
Sept. 29th: Lyric Theatre, Belfast, 7.30pm, £12.50 (048 9038 1081)
Sept. 30th: Station House Theatre, Clifden, Co. Galway, 7.30pm, €15 (095 30303)
Oct. 1st: Axis, Ballymun, Dublin, 7.30pm, from €12/€15 (01 883-2100)
Oct. 2nd: Theatre Royal, Waterford, 7.30pm, €15 (051 874 402)
Oct. 3rd: Triskel Arts Centre, Christchurch, Cork, 7.30pm, €15 (021 427 2022)
Oct. 4th: The George Bernard Shaw Theatre, Carlow, 8.00pm, €15 (059 917-2400)

In studio: Eanna ni Lamhna, Siobhan Madigan, Richard Collins and Doug Allan

In studio: Richard Collins, Doug Allan, Eanna ni Lamhna & Derek Mooney 

Irish Wildlife Crime Conference

Irish Wildlife Crime Conference

Listeners to Mooney Goes Wild will be the very people most upset by the reports we do from time to time about harm inflicted by people on animals. Too often we have heard about hen harriers and white tailed eagles found poisoned, or of seals being shot by fishermen and the horrible story of their heads been nailed to stakes, or of dogs bred for hunting badgers.

So you will be very glad to hear that this weekend, Ireland's first all-island Wildlife Crime Conference is taking place in County Meath. And to tell us more, we are joined today from RTÉ's Belfast studios by Dr. Clyde Hutchinson, Chairperson of Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland...

The website that Clyde set up telling people what to do if they find a wildlife casualty is It gives useful and easy to follow information and instruction to members of the public who find a wildlife casualty

The Irish Wildlife Crime Conference is taking place on September 14th and 15th - but IT IS BOOKED TO CAPACITY!! No vacancies!!

Details of the conference programme and speakers can be found at

Saving Our Bees

Saving Our Bees

As Albert Einstein said "If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live". It's a fight for survival for bees as worldwide populations are plummeting. But there is a fight back on and Philip Mc Cabe, who is President of The European Commission for Apiculture (which is the art of beekeeping) is here to explain what is the action plan for saving our native bee - and why we should be worried...

For more information, visit

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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