Thursday, June 28, 2007

Ireland's first black mayor

Rotimi Adebari, 43, born in Okeodan in Ogun state, in southwest Nigeria, was expected to take the chain of office in the midlands town of Portlaoise, Co Laois.

Adebari has a masters degree in intercultural studies from Dublin City University and works with the local authority in County Laois co-ordinating an integration project for immigrants.

"Ireland is really changing. The immigrant community in the town has been growing, especially since the accession countries joined the European Union on enlargement in 2004," Adebari said.

"That is not to say that I did not have my own share of the prejudice that would be out there against maybe Nigerians, or immigrants or asylum seekers," he said.

"But I don't let the attitude of a very small minority over-shadow the fact that the people are wonderful."

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