The year 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan. At an event on Monday 9 January at Iveagh House in Dublin, Barbara Geraghty, lecturer in Japanese in the School of Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics, was presented with a certificate of appreciation by the Japanese Foreign Ministry for her work in the promotion and teaching of Japanese language and culture since 2000. The Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs as well as the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs were present.

Barbara is not new to international recognition, as she was previously given a special commendation by the Embassy of Japan in 2013 for her outstanding contribution to the deepening of mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and Ireland.

Mr. Chihiro Atsumi, then ambassador to Ireland, acknowledged “Barbara’s natural strength of character and ability to take action, combined with the politeness and modesty so important to Japanese people, and the commitment she has shown to carrying out her many responsibilities.”

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Japanese Foreign Minister Mr Fumio Kishida presenting the certificate to Barbara Geraghty as Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Charlie Flanagan looks on.

Since her arrival at UL, Ms. Geraghty has been involved in a wide range of activities aimed at expanding Japanese-language education in Ireland. Her role has been pivotal in Japanese-language education in Ireland, particularly in the western half of the country.

Barbara’s commitment to the teaching and promotion of her subject have also been recognised and highlighted by her students. In 2002, Barbara Geraghty was awarded the University’s Small Group Teaching Award. This award was based on her performance as a teacher and facilitator within and outside the classroom. An accolade based on students’ feedback as well as the preparation of a reflective teaching portfolio, this teaching award was once again reinforced in 2016, when Barbara was listed as a Teaching Hero by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. This award, exclusively based on students’ opinion, shows how respected Barbara is a teacher and promoter of Japanese language and culture in Ireland. Moreover, her pastoral care abilities are also commendable, as she has been providing students with guidance and support throughout the years.

In 2007 with colleagues Dr Ann Marcus Quinn (Technical Communication) and Kumiko Kurebayashi, Barbara was awarded the European Language Label for developing software to teach two of the Japanese writing systems.

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