Mooney, Thursday January 23rd 2014

On Mooney today...

How many times have you moved house? We speak to a Mayo man whose moved house 29 times – that’s more than three times the average. We meet Mairead Conlon, the young Dublin girl who's hoping for success on The Voice in Britain, and find out why legendary musician Mike Batt is supporting another Voice contestant, Bob Blakeley!

Caring For Garden Birds This Winter

Caring For Garden Birds This Winter

To find out how to care for and attract garden birds, read Jim Wilson's Guide To Garden Birds - CLICK HERE!

The Blind Boys Of Alabama Competition

Calling all Irish gospel choirs/groups!

Would you like to perform in the National Concert Hall as support act for gospel legends The Blind Boys of Alabama as well as on RTÉ Radio 1’s Mooney?

Mooney and Waltons World Masters Series are offering one lucky group the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do just that!

The Waltons World Masters Series welcomes The Blind Boys of Alabama back to Dublin and the National Concert Hall on Wednesday, May 21st 2014. Ireland has its own great tradition of gospel music, and one very special aspect of this concert is that the support act will be an Irish gospel choir/group selected by the third nationwide Waltons World Masters Gospel Competition, in association with the Mooney and RTÉ Radio 1! The winning choir/group will perform a 40-minute set before The Blind Boys take to the stage.


All Irish gospel choirs/groups are welcome to enter.

The Competition

After all entries are received, a shortlist of three finalists will be chosen by a jury made up of representatives from Waltons New School of Music and RTÉ Radio 1. The finalists will be announced and their recordings broadcast on the Mooney on Thursday, April 10th. Their entries will then be sent to The Blind Boys of Alabama, who will select the overall winner.

The winning choir/group will be announced on the Mooney on Thursday, May 1st, perform on Mooney on a date to be announced, and perform in the National Concert Hall as support act for the Blind Boys of Alabama on Wednesday, May 21st.

The winning choir/group will be responsible for their own transport to/from the venue, as well as accommodation (if required). The group will receive five pairs of tickets to the concert for guests, but there will be no monetary remuneration.


Entry forms are available at or by clicking here. E-mail or post forms with the required information and materials (e-mail preferred!) to: (with ‘Waltons World Masters Gospel Competition’ in the subject line)


Waltons World Masters Gospel Competition
Waltons New School of Music
69 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2

Entries must arrive by 5pm on Friday, March. Late entries will not be accepted.

Please include the following materials and information:

  • Good quality audio recording(s) and MPG4, MOV, AVI or WMV video files or CD and DVD of one or two pieces that best display the range and skills of your choir/group.
  • A list of proposed repertoire to be performed at the NCH if your choir/group is chosen to perform.
  • A brief description your choir/group, including history, number of members and names, musical background of members and instrumentation (if any).
  • A JPG photograph of the choir for the Mooney Show and Competition web pages. If possible, please include a live performance photograph as well.
  • Website, Facebook or other URL(s), if any.
  • Email and contact details of the choir/group director.
  • Confirmation that all performers who feature on the audio and video files are available and will be able to perform on Wednesday, 21 May in the National Concert Hall, if your choir/group is selected.

Important Dates

Entry deadline: Friday, March 21st, 5pm
Finalists announced: Thursday, April 10th
Winner announced: Thursday, 1 May
Concert: Wednesday, 21 May

Mairead Conlon, Ireland's Voice

This time last year, Mairead Conlon wowed the coaches on The Voice Of Ireland and joined 'Team Bressie'. But she got knocked out in the Battle Stages... 

Last Saturday, she appeared on The Voice UK, and again wowed the coaches, with three out of four turning around for her. She joined 'Team Tom Jones', and today she joins us in studio, along with her hubby Del, for a chat and to perform exclusively for us!

If you would like to follow Mairead on YouTube, then visit

Another story to come out of the UK Voice is that of Bob Blakeley, from Stockport, who gave a powerhouse performance of Cry Me A River

Now on Saturday night, after that performance, none of the mentors turned around... But this morning, live on BBC Breakfast, Bob received a second chance at fame when musician Mike Batt offered to help Bob get a record deal.

Mike is a British songwriter, musician, producer, conductor and Deputy Chairman of the British Phonographic industry.

Mike Batt

Most of us will know his work through The Wombles pop act and for his beautiful songs such as Bright Eyes which was sung by Art Garfunkel and more recently for his work with Katie Melua including her song Nine Million Bicycles.

Mike joins us on the line this afternoon from his London office, where he has been meeting with Bob Blakelely...

Moving House

Moving House

Watching the ads on TV recently got Derek thinking. The ad he saw was from Britain, and it was all about how easy it is to pay your TV licence. But the line that caught his attention told us that "The average person moves home eight times during their life". Derek has only moved once, so he has a few to go to meet the British average!

Warren Buffett, one of the world’s wealthiest people in the world, doesn't appear to have lived in more than a couple of homes. In fact he still lives in the same house he bought in 1958!

Henry Ford, the famous car maker, had a strong attachment to his childhood farm House. So much so that after his parents died he had the house restored in 1919 and in 1944 he moved it two miles down the road to Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. Ford set up Greenfield Village as a place where people could see what American life was like in the past. (Among the attractions located there today are the Wright Brothers Bicycle shop and the Bus which Rosa Parks made famous when she refused to give up her seat to a white person thus sparking off the Montgomery Bus Boycott.)

But back to that TV ad and the claim that, on average, we live in eight houses during our lifetime... We sent our reporter Katriona McFadden to the streets to find out how often people move house. And Derek is joined in studio by Fintan Conlan (who runs One Man And His Van, a home removals business), who has lived in 29 different homes!


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.  

To contact your local wildlife ranger, click here for contact details. To read the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000, click here.

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.


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

Music Played on the Show

Nine Million Bicycles

Nine Million Bicycles

Katie Melua




Contact the Show



Twitter: @naturerte

RTÉ is not responsible for the content of external websites

Presenter: Derek Mooney


Ways to Listen

Radio Player