The Ireland Japan Association would like to acknowledge the gracious support of our Patron, Japanese Ambassador to Ireland H.E. Mr. Mitsuru Kitano.

Council members

CHAIRPERSON – Ms. Darina Slattery
Unique Japan Tours / Japan Ireland Travel

Darina first joined the council of the Ireland Japan Association in 2008 and subsequently sat as chairperson from 2009-2011. Her passion for Japan began in her teens, where she graduated with a BA in Business Studies and Japanese from University of Ulster in 2000, of which one year was spent at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo. She continued her education at the Smurfit School of Business and graduated with an MBS in International Marketing in 2003 which soon after, led to her setting up her own companies, Japan Ireland Travel (JIT) & Unique Japan Tours (UJT). UJT are now Europe’s leading Japan travel expert company offering holidays of all types (groups, tailor-made, independent) for any nationality going to Japan while JIT welcomes Japanese people into Ireland on private, individual, and tailor-made holidays all over Ireland. 2017 will mark the celebration of Darina and her team’s 10 years in business.

VICE-CHAIR – Mr. Yasuyuki Ozeki (JETRO)

JETRO, or the Japan External Trade Organization, is a government-related organization that works to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world. Originally established in 1958 to promote Japanese exports abroad, JETRO’s core focus in the 21st century has shifted toward promoting foreign direct investment into Japan and helping small to medium size Japanese firms maximize their global export potential. In Ireland, Yasuyuki Ozeki works for JETRO. On a personal level, Yasuyuki is known for his epic cycling journey from Japan to Ireland in 1998.

Mr. Raymond Hegarty

Raymond Hegarty is a company director and IP (intellectual property) strategist. He is the first Irish person to be recognized by Intellectual Asset Magazine as one of the world’s Top 300 IP strategists. He has lived and worked in Japan for 5 years and has had a long involvement with the Ireland Japan Association on cultural and business subcommittees as well as Council membership and several terms as chairperson. Mr Hegarty has a BE, MBA and a postgraduate diploma in European law from the National University of Ireland as well as an LLM in intellectual property law from the University of Strasbourg (France).

Mr. Hiro Ino

Hiro graduated from the University of Limerick with a LL.B. in Law and European Studies in 2003. He continued his studies at the Law Society of Ireland and went on to qualify as a solicitor. He now resides in Dublin where he practises law at his niche firm, Hiro Ino & Co. Solicitors. Hiro has previously worked in fund accounting with an investment bank based in the IFSC and has also spent time as a Data Editor with Financial Times Interactive Data , specialising in fixed income market for Asia-Pacific region in the past. Originally from Japan, Hiro has been living in Ireland for over 20 years and though he visits family and friends regularly near Kyoto, he now considers Ireland as his “home”.

Ms. Verity Swan

Verity Swan, who is a teacher by profession, was Deputy Principal of a large girls’ secondary school in Dublin.  Subsequently, she undertook educational research in Trinity College Dublin receiving her doctorate in 2010 in the area of leadership and learning. As a member of Rotary International, she was the first female to be District Governor of Rotary Ireland (2013/2014) actively promoting Rotary International’s work in peace initiatives, humanitarian projects and educational opportunities. In 2009 Verity was asked to lead a Rotary Group Study Exchange Team to Matsue, Japan. The experience of Japanese life and culture which the five-member team (Verity and the four non-Rotarians who were in the first years of their careers) enjoyed, has led in each case to a life-long interest in Japan. On return to Ireland, Verity became a member of the Ireland Japan Association, and having served for three years on the  IJA Council (2015 – 2018) is pleased to have been elected for a second term. Having re-visited Japan in 2016, she hopes to make a third visit in 2020.

Ms. Paula Kelly

A graduate of Carysfort College, U.C.D. and Trinity College, Paula is a qualified Primary School teacher. She is Deputy Principal in St. Anne’s N.S., Shankill. She has a Master’s Degree in Applied Linguistics. Paula’s connection with Japan began when she worked in Kusatsu City in Shiga Ken as a JET programme participant, working in three high schools. She also worked for a year at Tsukuba International School, as Principal Teacher. Upon returning to Ireland, she joined the Irish branch of JET Alumni Association and was Chairperson for a number of years. She represented Ireland at the international conferences and served as the first Chairperson of IJETAA. She joined the Ireland Japan Association and served as Chairperson for three years from 2004 – 2007. She has an avid interest in Japanese language and culture and has been a member of IJA’s study committee since 2015. She has recently rejoined the Council as an individual member.

Mr. Donagh Morris (MUFG Investor Services)

Donagh is Associate Director of Japanese Client Relationship Management at MUFG Investor Services and is a graduate of UCD, NUI Galway and the Institute of Banking. MUFG Investor Services is a leading provider of fund administration, custody, trustee services and regulatory reporting to global fund manager and investor clients. Formerly, Donagh was Head of Japanese Client Relationship Management at Daiwa and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust. He has worked in the fund services industry in Dublin since 2005. Prior to that, Donagh lived in Japan between 2000 and 2004 where he participated in the JET Programme and worked at Softopia Japan and Nagoya University of Foreign Studies. He obtained a brown belt in aikido and level 1 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. A former chairperson of the IJA, Donagh is a keen supporter of both cultural and business ties between Ireland and Japan, and has a particular interest in Japanese language education.

Mr. Neil Maher (Mitsubishi Electric)

Neil’s association with Japan began in 2001 when he spent two years in Okayama prefecture as an Assistant Language Teacher on the JET Programme. Returning to Ireland in 2003 he was the JET Programme Coordinator in the Embassy of Japan managing the selection and departure of 68 Irish people on the JET Programme in 2004. As President of the Irish JET Alumni Association from 2005 to 2008 Neil oversaw a rebirth of the association which has continued to develop and act as a focal point for returning JETs to relive the highlights of their experiences of Japan. Neil first joined the IJA Council in 2008 and was vice-chairperson from 2009 – 2010.  Neil has a BSc in Management and Marketing and an MSc in Strategic Management. Neil is the Marketing Manager for Mitsubishi Electric Ireland which in 2017 is celebrating 35 years in Ireland.

Mr. Shane Geraghty (Dillon Eustace)

Shane is a Partner in the Asset Management and Investment Funds Group of Dillon Eustace and is a graduate of UCD, DIT and the Law Society of Ireland. In December 2000, Dillon Eustace opened its first overseas office in Tokyo to service its Asian client base. Since its establishment, Dillon Eustace has consistently been the law firm of choice for the majority of Asian financial institutions seeking to use Ireland as a gateway to Europe. Shane is admitted as a solicitor in Ireland, England and Wales and was admitted as an Attorney at Law in the Cayman Islands in 2015. Shane acts for a number of Japanese financial institutions with respect to financial services regulation in Ireland and has advised previously on Cayman Islands investment fund structure. Over the last number of years, Shane has spoken at various investment funds conferences in Japan and is a regular visitor to Tokyo.

Mr. Graham Ryan (Yamamori Restaurants)

Born in Ireland and matured in Japan, one thing is for sure, Graham grew up in the F&B industry. After learning the ropes at his family restaurant business in Dublin, Graham joined the Jameson graduate programme in 2012. He spent 3 years in Tokyo with Jameson followed by 2 years with ABInBev handling business development in Japan managing the international beer portfolio with Kirin and Asahi beer corporations. Having recently returned to take over the running of his family business in Dublin, the well-known Yamamori group of restaurants, bars and night club all based in Dublin city centre, Graham still has a real thirst for the FMCG business and loves to do no other than promote Ireland in East and Japan in the west with food and beverage as his tools. With a strong command of the Japanese language and a deep knowledge of the Japanese and pan Asian consumer, Graham assists Irish brands in there penetration of the eastern market and when he is not promoting and developing his family business assists in the roll-out of trade & consumer experiences for up and coming Irish whiskey brands. Graham is honoured to be apart of the council and looking forward to meeting and nurturing the Japanese community in Ireland.

Mr. Eoghan Howe (Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking)

Eoghan works on the Inward Investment team at Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking helping companies from overseas establish their presence in Ireland and expand internationally. He is a graduate of UCD and the University of British Columbia and has a keen interest in economics, politics, travel, cycling and current affairs. He has a great affection for Japan having travelled there on multiple occasions for both business and pleasure and is attempting to visit every prefecture over the next two years.

Mr. Niall Moriarty (AIB Corporate Banking)

Coming soon.

Ms. Tsugumi Yamamoto (Grant Thornton Ireland)

Coming soon.

Other attendees at Council meetings

Dr. Tom Hardiman (EU – Japan Business Round Table)

Dr. Hardiman holds directorships in industry, commerce and finance. A graduate of UCD in Engineering and Science, Tom worked for many years in the Telecommunications Services. He was appointment as Director General of RTE in 1968, a position he held for seven years. He is a Supervisory Board Member of the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation, Tokyo and a Member of the EU Japan Business Round Table. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Asia Europe Foundation, Singapore. He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Chester Beatty Library and Gallery of Oriental Art, Dublin Castle. He was elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy in November 1980 and he was decorated with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star by the Emperor of Japan in April 1986. He was conferred LL.D. by the National University of Ireland in April 1990 and D.Litt. by Lynn University, Florida in October 1995.

Mr. Sou Watanabe (Embassy of Japan in Ireland)

Coming soon.