"Travel with Stephanie Abrams!" Radio Show - January 12, 2014
Tourists enjoying Ireland's Giant's Causeway

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Hour 1

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Pat Dooley, CEO, Dooley Car Rentals, Limerick, Ireland.
www.dooleycarrentals.com

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Click here to listen to Neville McConachie, Visitor Experience Supervisor, Giant's Causeway interviewed by Stephanie Abrams without commercials.

Neville McConachie, Visitor Experience Supervisor, Giant's Causeway, 44 Causeway Rd., Bushmills, Moyle, Antrim Coast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, UK.
www.nationaltrust.org.uk
www.ireland.com

the Irish Myth of The Giant Finn McCool and the Story of the Giant Camel

Travel Expert and Radio Show Host Stephanie Abrams says that Giant's Causeway is a place that everyone should put on their "must-visit" list. It is on the Antrim Coast of Northern Ireland and she says if you look at a map of Ireland, its towards the top and that tourists might be visiting a nearby area like the Ring of Kerry, or Kinsale, or West Cork. "Or maybe", she says, "you've come into Dingle or Dublin and are planning to run around in County Wicklow or take a drive across to Galway". Stephanie says that no matter what, visitors should point their car towards the north and make it up to Giant's Causeway. She describes its impact and says it's a Natural Wonder of the World and is guaranteed to lift your spirits. There is a new visitor center that opened about a year ago and she says it's just down the road from Dunluce Castle, which she notes is featured in the Johnny Depp movie "Pirates of the Caribbean Curse of the Black Pearl". Stephanie says there's something mystical and magnetic about the area.

Neville McConachie, Visitor Experience Supervisor for Giant's Causeway says the new visitor's center opened in July, 2012. Neville says he's worked at Giant's Causeway for 27 years and that he was born 2 miles from the site and says he's been running around the site since "knee high" and remembers coming to the site with his father and fishing. Little did he know one days he'd end up working here. Neville's first job started off in the car parks. He says he enjoyed that and got to meet people from all over the world, but now his job is talking to people about the site. He says scientists and geologists will say it was formed by molten lava, but he says he believes it was actually built by a giant.

When you come to Giant's Causeway you can find out about the scientific, geological and mythical story of Giant's Causeway. Stephanie says it also has a great gift shop and in particular she loves the candles they sell in the shape of the causeway itself. Neville says 90% of the items sold in the gift shop are sourced locally.

Neville says the visitor center is divided into three color coded sections. The Red area is designated for geology, blue areas concern the myths, legends, stories and history of Giant's Causeway, while green areas relate to fauna (or plants). He says all the sections are really fantastic, but his love is for the myth and legends of the site and while he recommends the whole experience, he particularly enjoys the myths and legends of the giant on a personal level.

Neville McConachie remembers sharing the Legend of Finn McCool and Benandonner with Stephanie during a previous interview. He says, "We know there was a giant called Finn McCool and he did live at the causeway. And he lived here with his wife Oona and his son Oisín and Granny. He wasn't the only giant in Ireland, there were several giants in Ireland and Finn McCool had a friend who lived in county Cork and his name was big Jimmy.... And he turned round one day and he says to his wife Oona, 'Oona I'm heading to see big Jimmy for 5 days in County Cork and I'll see you when I get back'. And Oona, she wasn't too pleased at all. She looked at Finn and says' you're going for five days?' And he says 'Yeah. I'll see you in five days time.' Now, Oona was absolutely raging with anger that Finn was going.

Now I must admit that Oona reminds me a little bit of my wife, Neville says. Because if I were to say to my wife, maybe that I'm heading to England for five days, she would soon remind me there's a plane first thing in the morning and a plane first thing at night and there's no need for me to be staying for five days. But, I just do as I'm told. I'm a very good husband, I must admit. And my wife would tell you the same thing.

Finn McCool on the other hand, he just turns around and says 'I'm gone' and off he went. Oona sat down and she had to come up with a plan to get him back, and may I say she came up with a craiqer. She invited her mother and father for tea and she got a hold Seamus ,who had done a little bit of work for them. To Seamus she says 'go to Cork and deliver the message to Finn that he's got to come home cause his in-laws are coming'. Seamus landed in Cork and he knocked on Big Jimmy's door and Jimmy knew Seamus , so he opened the door and he says 'Seamus how are you?' And Seamus says I' have no time to talk Jimmy is Finn here?'

Finn, he got up and he says 'what do you want Seamus?' He says 'Finn you've got to come home, your in-laws are coming.' And Finn says 'what?'. Seamus says 'You've got to come home, your in-laws are coming for tea.' Finn McCool looked at Big Jimmy and he says 'Jimmy I don't believe it, what am I going to do?' Well Jimmy says 'if you have any sense, Finn, you'll go home.' Finn sat down and Big Jimmy says 'Finn your starting to panic, you don't even know when they're coming. It may be tomorrow, it may be the next day.'
Finn: 'Well, when are they coming?'
Seamus: 'Tonight.'

Finn knew he was in trouble because it was more than a stretch of the legs to get back home. Big Jimmy noticed this in Finns face, and says 'stop panicking. I can actually help you to get home.' Finn says 'You can?' Big Jimmy says 'I can. I've got a donkey.'

Finn looks at Big Jim and says 'Jim. I'm 54 feet tall! A donkey's no good to me.' Jim, he says 'Fair point,' and he sat down. Then he says 'Finn. I can help you, but you've got to give me your word that if I let you borrow what I have you will keep it a secret.'

Finn agreed so Big Jimmy took him out the back of his house and to a big barn where he opened it up and inside the barn was the only giant camel. The camel was 50 feet tall! Fin McCool was absolutely amazed. He says 'Jimmy, can I borrow this thing?'
Jimmy: 'You can.'
Finn: 'Where did you get it?'
Jimmy: 'I got it on my world travels.'
Finn McCool says to himself, 'right'. He lifted Seamus, threw him in his pack, and they headed back.

May I say that Finn was back in ample time. Everything went fantastic. He had his meal with his in-laws and Oona and Granny and Oisín and everything went fantastic, but, when they all left, Finn looks at Oona and says 'You have to come and see this' and he showed her the giant camel.

Oona couldn't believe it. She says, 'where did you get it?' He says, 'It belongs to big Jimmy, but I don't want to give it back.' She says, 'well, you must send Seamus to Cork and ask Jimmy if you can keep him.' And that's exactly what happened and the word came back that he could keep the camel as long as he looked after him and that's what Finn did.

Neville assures Stephanie and all her listeners that this is exactly what happened and he can point out exactly where the camel is on the site, today. The camel is actually near Portnaboe, which means, Bay of Cow, about hundred yards from the back door of the new visitor center.

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Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
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For more information visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk and www.ireland.com


Guests Include:

Pat Dooley, CEO, Dooley Car Rentals, Limerick, Ireland.
www.dooleycarrentals.com

Neville McConachie, Visitor Experience Supervisor, Giant's Causeway, 44 Causeway Rd., Bushmills, Moyle, Antrim Coast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, UK.
www.nationaltrust.org.uk
www.ireland.com

Hour 2

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News and Updates from Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams


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Harry McKeogh, Owner and Chef, Cherry Tree Restaurant, Killaloe/Ballina, Ireland.
www.cherrytreerestaurant.ie

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For more information visit www.cherrytreerestaurant.ie


Guests Include:

Harry McKeogh, Owner and Chef, Cherry Tree Restaurant, Killaloe/Ballina, Ireland.
www.cherrytreerestaurant.ie

Hour 3

Topics Include:

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Katherine Webster, Director, Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, Liscannor, County Clare, Ireland.
www.cliffsofmoher.ie

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For more information visit www.cliffsofmoher.ie


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Anne McConnell, Vice President, Pittsfield Irish Sister City Committee, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, USA.

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Guests Include:

Katherine Webster, Director, Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, Liscannor, County Clare, Ireland.
www.cliffsofmoher.ie

Anne McConnell, Vice President, Pittsfield Irish Sister City Committee, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, USA.

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After gasping at the Cliffs of Moher too exhausted to talk one starts listening to the chronicles of the locals in Cork known for spinning a new yarn.

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