The Irish Passport

Irish culture and current affairs with the historical backstory that explains it all. Presented by journalist Naomi O Leary and lecturer Tim Mc Inerney, this is your passport to Ireland.


Ireland and Japan

Islands on opposite sides of the world with deep differences, and surprising similarities! Naomi and Tim explore the thriving traditional Irish music scene in Tokyo, reporting from a session in a downtown pub where dozens of Japanese musicians meet to play jigs and reels, many of them speaking in Irish accents. Ireland’s ambassador in Tokyo Paul Kavanagh tells us why Japan is the biggest investor in Ireland in the Asia-Pacific and us why economic relations are set to get stronger. Featuring the voice of Sister Paschal O’Sullivan, the last Irish missionary nun in Japan, who taught generations of the Japanese elite including the current Empress of Japan. We interview her cousin France 24 journalist James Creedon, director of a recent documentary about her life, ‘Thanks to your Noble Shadow’. And how do you translate James Joyce’s Ulysses into Japanese? We hear from Professor Kazuo Oikawa, a teacher of Irish literature and culture to students of Waseda University and author of ‘The Harp and Green’, who tells us why Ireland has some surprising historical overlaps with his native Hokkaido.

Featuring the track ‘Fogs’ by Tokyo trad band O’Jizo, the Toyota Ceili Band, and the session musicians of The Old Rock pub in Chiyoda, Tokyo. Special thanks to Kozo Toyota and Aisling Braiden.

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Featuring editing by Alan Meaney .

Season 3 of The Irish Passport podcast is made with the kind support of Biddy Murphy, online sellers of genuine Irish goods. Check them out on

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @PassportIrish.


 2019-10-18  58m