Mooney Wednesday 29 January 2014

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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...

John Wilson, newly appointed principal conductor of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, talks about his love of MGM musicals and his plans for the orchestra. As Jamaica once again sends a team to the Winter Olympics, we talk to one of the original 1988 Jamaican bobsled team, who were the inspiration for the Disney movie Cool Runnings. And Brenda travels to Swords, County Dublin, to meet a woman with her own unique line of jewellery - jewellery made of horse hair!

RTE Concert Orchestra's New Principal Conductor

RTE Concert Orchestra's New Principal Conductor

Tomorrow evening John Wilson makes his eagerly anticipated début as Principal Conductor of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. The performance will be a Hollywood Rhapsody with scores from America’s “Golden Age” of film.

CONCERT ONE: Hollywood Rhapsody with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Thursday 30 January, 8pm, National Concert Hall

The 20th Century Fox Fanfare provides a swaggering opening to an evening packed with amazing music from Robin Hood, Casablanca, Ben-Hur, Psycho, Citizen Kane and more, not least an exhilarating Tom and Jerry medley that raised the roof of the Royal Albert Hall.

With guest vocalists Matthew Ford, Venera Gimadieva and Anna-Jane Casey.

CONCERT 2: Essential Classics, Thursday 27 February, 8pm National Concert Hall

Join the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and conductor John Wilson for a journey through some of the best – and best-loved – classical music of the past 150 years. Programme

Rossini William Tell Overture Debussy Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2 Lehár Gold and Silver Waltz Barber Adagio for Strings Stravinsky The Firebird Suite (1919 version)

CONCERT 3: That’s Entertainment! A Tribute to MGM Film Musicals, RTÉ Concert Orchestra with Matthew Ford & Anna-Jane Casey, guest vocalists, Wednesday 19 March, 8pm at the National Concert Hall

Gemosi Jewellery

Gemosi Jewellery

On this programme we are always delighted to mention and support new and innovative business ideas, everything for interviewing a hopeful entrepreneur on Dragon’s Den to giving a mention to people who have put themselves out there and taken a risk...

And today is no exception. We were contacted by a jewellery company called Gemosi and they make lovely bracelets and necklaces. Nothing out of the ordinary there, EXCEPT, their jewellery is made from the finest quality horsehair!

Brenda Donohue went to investigate...

For more details, visit


Winter Olympics

Winter Olympics

In 9 days from now skiers, skaters, sledders and snowboarders may well be dominating the sports news around the world as the Winter Olympics get underway. The Games take place in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in Russia.

More than 80 nations will compete in Sochi including countries with a strong tradition in winter sports like Germany, Norway and Russia.

But there are also a number of countries taking part which you wouldn’t readily associate with sports like Cross-Country Skiing, Ice Hockey and Figure Skating. Countries like Brazil, Zimbabwe and Thailand which rarely, if ever, see snow.

Fergus Sweeney gives us a flavour of some of the sports and some of the unlikely Olympians who will feature.

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!

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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