Travel Expert and Radio Talk Show Host Stephanie Abrams - Travelers411 Travel Radio Shownotes
"Travelers411" Radio Show - March 13, 2010 - Show Archive

"Travelers411" Broadcasts Live from Mount Falcon Hotel and Estate in County Mayo, Ireland; Dunadry Hotel and Country Club in Belfast, Northern Ireland; Saint Patrick Centre in Downpatrick, Ireland; Fishing, Golf, and Dining at the Mount Falcon Hotel and Estate; Carmel Quinn and the PBS special "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling."

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Hour 1

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The “Travelers411” Radio Show is broadcasting from the Mount Falcon Hotel and Estate in County Mayo, Ireland. Radio Host and Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams talks to Alan Maloney, Proprietor and Manager of Mount Falcon.

Alan Maloney
Alan Maloney, General Manager, Mount Falcon Estate, County Maya, Ireland.

Stephanie is visiting in March and enjoying the sunny weather, but Alan says that from mid-December to late January, Mount Falcon experienced “arctic conditions!” “It was like a Christmas wonderland,” he says. “We usually have a temperate climate, but we had snowstorms and hoarfrost. The ice was such a novelty, and lovely.” He adds that the average winter temperature in County Mayo is 8 degrees Celsius, or about 46 degrees Fahrenheit. This winter, though, Mount Falcon's thermometer dropped to -13 Celsius.

Mount Falcon Estate Lounge.
Mount Falcon Estate Lounge.

In the summer, the average temperature is around 16 degrees Celsius, or mid-70s on the Fahrenheit scale. Alan explains that the North Atlantic drift gives the west coast of Ireland its temperate climate. Stephanie has even seen palm trees lining local driveways.

Mount Falcon Grounds.
Mount Falcon Grounds.

Alan Maloney describes the essence of Mount Falcon in one word: home. “Everything we've done here from the beginning has been to make it feel like a home,” he says. “There's no formality; everything is relaxed.” He credits the “great staff” at Mount Falcon with making customers feel so comfortable.

Mount Falcon Restaurant.
Mount Falcon Restaurant.

The original Mount Falcon estate dates to 1876 and represented the marriage of two prevalent English landlord families. This means it was originally designed as a home, and Alan explains that he tried to preserve this character when developing the property. For example, there's no dress code in the restaurant, so visitors can come right off the golf course during the summer.

Sister Camille, the General Manager of the Mount Falcon Lodge in County Mayo, Balina, Ireland, Sister Kathleen Quinn.
From left to right: Sister Camille, the General Manager of the Mount Falcon Lodge in County Mayo, Balina, Ireland, Sister Kathleen Quinn.

Alan opened Mount Falcon as a hotel three years ago. In 2010, Mount Falcon Hotel and Estate was elected hotel of the year in Ireland. Stephanie is excited to have discovered the property early on, and says it's only getting better and better.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1384

For more information visit http://www.mountfalcon.com


Link to this segment

The “Travelers411” Radio Show with Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams has John J. Mooney, CEO of the Mooney Hotel Group, on the line from his Dunadry Hotel and Country Club in Belfast.

Stephanie Abrams interviews John J. Mooney; CEO; Mooney Hotel Group at Falls Hotel; Ennistymon; Ireland.
Stephanie Abrams interviews John J. Mooney; CEO; Mooney Hotel Group at Falls Hotel; Ennistymon; Ireland.

Stephanie flew into Belfast and stayed at the Dunadry before driving to Ireland. She explains that crossing the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland is more like crossing a state line than crossing the border between the U. S. and Canada.

Stephanie Abrams; Dr.Tim Cambell; Saint Patrick Center John Mooney
Ireland; Dunadry Hotel and Country Club; Stephanie Abrams; Dr.Tim Cambell; Saint Patrick Center; John Mooney General Manager

John J. Mooney, or “John J. Wonderful,” as he answers the phone, has just hosted a Lions Clubs convention at the Dunadry and says it's “going splendidly.” He tells Stephanie about the entertainment he has in store for this evening's dinner. “Lions Clubs dinners are usually stuffy and dry, so the idea is to make it more fun for people and bring laughter into the event,” John explains. Stephanie reveals her plans to host a dinner for everyone she knows in Ireland so that John and Alan can meet Andrew Turner, General Manager of the Solis Lough Eske Castle in Donegal. Alan offers to host the next time.

Stephanie Abrams; Dr.Tim Cambell; Saint Patrick Center; John Mooney General Manager
Ireland; Dunadry Hotel and Country Club; Stephanie Abrams; Dr.Tim Cambell; Saint Patrick Center; John Mooney General Manager.

“Dunadry is a magical place,” says Stephanie. “If you're passing through Belfast or Northern Ireland, you'll want to stop at Dunadry and ask for John J. Wonderful.”

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1385

For more information visit http://www.mooneyhotelgroup.com or http://www.dunadry.com


Link to this segment

Dr. Tim Campbell, Executive Director of the Saint Patrick Centre in County Down, Ireland, is also on the phone with the “Travelers411” Radio Show and Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams.

Saint Patrick Centre Entranceway.
Saint Patrick Centre Entranceway. Dr. Tim Campbell, Director, St. Patrick Centre, Radio Show Travel Expert Host Stephanie Abrams (center) and Simone Bassous, Executive Director, PATA.

The Saint Patrick Centre is in County Down, about a 2-hour drive from Dublin and half an hour from Belfast. It features exhibits on Ireland's patron saint and has chapters all over the world. For example, Tim has just traveled to Albany, Pittsburgh, Peoria (just outside of Phoenix, Arizona), and Peterborough, Ontario (just north of Toronto). There are displaced Irish people all over the world, he says, and the Saint Patrick Centre wants to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with them on March 17th. “We want to encourage people to think about Ireland as a destination and help them learn about Saint Patrick,” Tim explains.

Saint Patrick Centre.
Saint Patrick Centre.

To that end, Dr. Tim Campbell invites listeners to visit the Saint Patrick Centre website and participate in this year's celebration. Users can log on and tell the community what they've been doing in the spirit of St. Patrick.

Saint Patrick Centre in Downpatrick.
Saint Patrick Centre in Downpatrick.

The Saint Patrick Centre is located in Downpatrick, the shadow of St. Patrick's grave. “Downpatrick is a 3-for-1- value, because there are three saints buried there,” Tim says. “The Normans made up a rhyme for it: In Down, one grave three saints do fill; Patrick, Brigid, and Columcille.”

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=615

For more information visit http://www.saintpatrickcentre.com


Guests Include:

Alan Maloney, Proprietor and Manager, Mount Falcon Country House Hotel & Spa, Ballina, County Mayo, Ireland.
www.mountfalcon.com

John Mooney, CEO, Mooney Hotel Group, Northern Ireland.
www.mountfalcon.com

Dr. Tim Campbell, Director, The Saint Patrick Centre, Downpatrick, County Down, Ireland.
www.saintpatrickcentre.com

Hour 2

Topics Include:

Link to this segment

The "Travelers411" Radio Show and Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams are talking fishing with Alan Maloney, Proprietor and Manager of the Mount Falcon Hotel and Estate. Mount Falcon is about 5 kilometers south of Ballina in County Mayo on Ireland's west coast.

Ireland Lanesborough County Longford
Ireland Lanesborough County Longford 2010 Saint Patrick Parade

The west of Ireland is renowned for its water, says Alan. There's the coastline, of course, but there are also many lakes, which makes for great game angling. "We have a high propensity of healthy water systems, and the most prolific river in Ireland for Atlantic salmon: the River Moy." The River Moy meets the Atlantic at Ballina and runs right through the Mount Falcon grounds.

Alan Maloney
Alan Maloney.

Mount Falcon owns 2 miles of fishing rights on the Moy and is popular with people who want to catch their first Atlantic salmon. Guests can reach the river, which is about 600 yards from the hotel, via a pedestrian underpass. "You can pick up your fishing rod, go under the road, and arrive on the banks of the River Moy," says Alan. "Once the main salmon run starts in May, you'll see people walking up from the river with their fish." The chef at Mount Falcon will even cook what visitors catch.

Saint Patrick Parade
Ireland Lanesborough County Longford 2010 Saint Patrick Parade.

The region is also known for its sea trout and brown trout. For trout fishing, Alan recommends Mount Falcon's own 3-acre lake. The hotel can provide fishing gear and organize fishing permits for guests. "It's completely private fishing," Alan says. He explains that Mount Falcon is popular with professional golfers, including Tiger Woods, Mark O'Meara, John Cook, and Scotty Cameron, who come for the angling. Since Mount Falcon didn't own the other side of the river, a few curious photographers were able to take pictures of famous golfers on vacation. "After that, I purchased the other side!" Alan says. He emphasizes that fishing is now completely private with no more than 12 anglers on Mount Falcon's 2-mile stretch of river.

Mount Falcon Estate
Ireland; Mount Falcon Estate; County Mayo; Ducks.

Though professional golfers come to Mount Falcon to take a break from golf, Alan says there are great links courses nearby. "When conditions are good for golf, it tends to not be good weather for salmon fishing," he explains. "If you have a dull wet day, though, it's perfect for fishing." The hotel can provide golf gear so visitors can head to the course on sunny days.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1384

For more information visit http://www.mountfalcon.com


Link to this segment

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams visits Philippe Farineau, Head Chef at the Mount Falcon Hotel and Estate, in this segment of the "Travelers411" Radio Show.

Philippe Faraneau Chef.
Ireland; Mount Falcon Estate; County Mayo; Philippe Faraneau Chef.

French by birth, Philippe has lived in Ireland since 1998 and will celebrate his third season at Mount Falcon this summer. He studied in Paris at the Hotel Bristol under a 3-star Michelin chef. (Stephanie explains that in the Michelin guides, 3 stars is the highest rating.) Philippe says his training gave him the ability to talk to suppliers and select the right produce. "I was able to arrive in Ireland and ask for certain things," says Philippe, adding that he works only with Irish produce.

Mount Falcon Estate
Ireland; Mount Falcon Estate; County Mayo.

Philippe starts with classic Irish food, then adapts from there. He's currently creating a gourmet coddle, a traditional Dublin dish. "We use the same ingredients," says Philippe, "but the presentation, cooking, stock, and piece of pork we choose will make it a little tastier. And it will look absolutely fantastic on the plate."

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1386

For more information visit http://www.mountfalcon.com


Link to this segment

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams and the "Travelers411" Radio Show welcome Carmel Quinn, Irish-American singer and author. In March 2010, Carmel was featured in the PBS special "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling." The special was written by Malachy McCourt, a memoirist, actor, and previous guest on the "Travel With Stephanie Abrams!" Radio Show.

Carmel Quinn.
Carmel Quinn.

Carmel is preparing for upcoming concerts in Minnesota and Long Island, but hopes to return to Ireland in May 2010. "All my family is in Ireland," she explains. "I'm the only one who came away." Luckily, she goes back every year.

Carmel Quinn.
Carmel Quinn.

Stephanie will also be going back to Ireland in May 2010 for the dedication of the Frank McCourt Museum and Art Gallery in Limerick. Frank was a teacher, author of three memoirs, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Angela's Ashes," and Malachy's brother. Stephanie encourages Carmel to come back to Ireland and catch up.

Carmel Quinn.
Carmel Quinn.

Malachy convinced Carmel that he couldn't do a show called "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" without her. He told Carmel to say whatever she liked, and no matter what she was asked, to barrel ahead with her stories. "I'm really a shy person, but let me put my foot on the stage, and I'm home, I'm happy," Carmel explains. She recalls how, at 15 years old, she told her father that she might become a singer, and he replied, "Carmel, God help your head, you haven't a hope."

Carmel Quinn.
Carmel Quinn.

Undeterred, Carmel left Dublin for the U. S. at 19. "I wanted to go to America because my mother had gone," she says. Carmel explains that her mother came to Ohio as a young girl and worked as a scullery maid. "She was a great singer, but as a young Irish girl, she was put into housework, and she didn't like it," Carmel says. "She spent a few years working as a scullery maid, singing in little Irish pubs on the weekends, saving up money to get back to Ireland."

Carmel ended up being more successful in America, and "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" features her alongside performers like Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1390

For more information visit http://www.carmelquinn.net or http://www.pbs.org


Guests Include:

Alan Maloney, Proprietor and Manager, Mount Falcon Country House Hotel & Spa, Ballina, County Mayo, Ireland.
www.mountfalcon.com

Philippe Faraneau, Chef, Mount Falcon Estate, Ballina, County Mayo, Ireland.
www.mountfalcon.com

Carmel Quinn, Singer, Ireland.
www.carmelquinn.net

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