St. Patrick's Day Pak: Stephanie Abrams, Travel Expert, Introduces Irish Travel Tips and Irish Trivia to Enhance Saint Patrick's Day Celebrations

NEW YORK, Feb. 22, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- (PRIMEPAK FEATURE) According to Stephanie Abrams, travel industry veteran, "The best way to celebrate St. Patrick's life is to take a trip to Ireland ... any day of the year! But if you can be in Ireland on Saint Patrick's Day, can there be anything grander?"

With the creation of Tourism Ireland, the new All-Ireland Promotion Agency in the U.S. launched this year from the merger of the Irish Tourist Board and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Abrams notes that, "It's easier than ever for travel agents and travelers to get all the information they need to plan a complete vacation to visit all of the attractions and sites of the entire island of Ireland."

Abrams also notes that it is quite economical for Americans to get to Ireland, and with Continental Airlines service to Dublin, "it's an easy journey. Once you are there, you'll have accommodations to fit your taste and your budget with everything from Bed and Breakfast Inns to castles," she explains. "And if you watch your travel budget by staying in charming cottages for a few nights, you can take the money you saved and invest it in a lifetime of memories by staying at a castle like Dromoland in County Clare or Ashford in County Mayo, where every detail comes under the watchful eye of John Hehir who makes sure your stay is a true fairytale experience," Abrams states.

The first step for the independent traveler is a rental car, a roadmap and a caring travel agent to plan the itinerary, book the accommodations and find the best value for every dollar spent, according to Abrams. To find an agent, she recommends going to, "where travelers can locate an agency in their community where Ireland is spoken!" she quips. "And for the traveler who would like to leave the driving to a professional and enjoy an escorted motorcoach tour, ask your travel agent about tour operators like Sceptre Ireland who offers themed tours like 'Mysteries & Castles,' and C-I-E Tours International who offers their 5 day 'Taste of Ireland' luxury coach tours from $430 per person. For the golfer, Atlantic Golf customizes golf vacations!"

Wherever your Saint Patrick's Day celebration takes place, Abrams believes that a Leprechaun's pot full of Irish trivia will add to the quality of the day's events.

"Irish culture isn't only woven into the woolens we wear. It is also woven into the language we speak," Abrams states. She offers this list of words and their derivation as clear examples, provided by Tourism Ireland:

Boycott: In the 19th century, the Irish peasantry rented their land from English landlords. The estates were normally run by an overseer. One of the cruelest was a man named Captain Boycott who was responsible for evicting many people. The local populous shunned him and the word "boycott" was born!

By Hook or By Crook: While we take this expression to mean that something will get accomplished by any means necessary, it is actually derived from when Oliver Cromwell landed in Ireland in 1649 to suppress a rebellion. His target was Waterford. On the east shore of the Waterford estuary is Hook Head and the west shore is a small village named Crook. Cromwell vowed he would take Waterford "by Hook or by Crook."

Lynching: In the 15th century, the Mayor of Galway, James Lynch Fitzstephen, condemned his son to death for murder. Nobody wanted to carry out the sentence. The Mayor was forced to take the law into his own hands and hang his son, giving rise to the term, "lynching."

And, more on the Irish Trivia side, did you know that:

-- Potatoes, also called "spuds" by the Irish, did not originate in
Ireland but were brought there from America by Sir Walter

-- The city of Limerick has given its name to the popular verse
form, which was originally introduced during the 18th century by
a local poet, Mercy Pedlar.

-- And the Shamrock is identified with Ireland because Saint
Patrick, according to legend, used its three leaves to illustrate
the separate entities of the Trinity: the Father, Son and Holy

Abrams' radio program, "Travel with Stephanie Abrams," which airs on Sundays in the one o'clock hour (EST) on the Business Talk Radio Network as a special segment of Alan Rothman's show, "The Business of Success," will broadcast live from The Saint Patrick Centre in County Downpatrick, Ireland, two and one-half hours from Dublin and 20 miles from Belfast, on Saint Patrick's Day. The program is carried on 60 stations covering 70% of the U.S. To find a local station carrying the program, Abrams suggests visiting her website at and clicking on the Business Talk Radio Network map. On March 17, the program will broadcast from noon to 2 p.m. EST.

"There is no more appropriate place for us to share Saint Patrick's Day with our listeners than by broadcasting live from the Saint Patrick Centre which is built adjacent to Saint Patrick's Grave. The Centre is a celebration of Irish history, Irish art, Irish culture, Saint Patrick's life and mission, and Early Christian times enveloped in a magnificent building which provides interactive exhibits to tell the story," Abrams explains.

"And as part of our celebration, our guests will include directors of the Saint Patrick Centre, Irish business leaders, hoteliers and tour operators and we will be giving away some handsome prizes to callers to the program. There are going to be some very happy prize-winning listeners on March 17!" Abrams concludes.

Stephanie Abrams, with over twenty years in the travel industry, is recognized as an expert in the travel industry and has been repeatedly named to "Travel Agent Magazine's" list of the "100 Most Powerful Women in Travel." Abrams has been honored for her work in the travel industry having been the recipient of the prestigious Travel Agency Achievement Awards given by Travel Weekly Magazine for Best Public Relations Campaign, Best Marketing Promotion and Best Radio Advertising. She has served on the Advisory Boards of Dollar Rent a Car, Amadeus Global Distribution System, Hong Kong Tourism Authority, The American Society of Travel Agents Council of Travel Marketing Organizations and the International Affairs Committee of the International Franchise Association.

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Stephanie B. Abrams