I would like to share some content from emails between myself and Michele Erving who runs the Ireland Yes forum..
There are some awful itineraries floating around the forums lately with agents booking accommodation in a totally haphazard fashion. I would like to say "go to a **** agent" but I am not sure of the correct term/association/accreditation to put in place of *****? and is there a web listing for these agents?
Tourism Ireland accredits travel agents who specialize in Ireland in the USA and Canada. They belong to the Shamrock Club. In order to be accredited they must complete a course of education about Ireland and travel in Ireland. However, that does not mean those agents have ever actually visited Ireland (although many have). On occasion I have mentioned it because at least they have some knowledge of Ireland, whereas a general travel agent who specializes in cruises or something else may not even know where Ireland is on the map.
I am not saying all travel agents are bad but by finding one that actually knows something about Ireland visitors might get a better break.