Longford County Council has chosen Fianna Fáil Cllr Uruemu Adejinmi as Mayor, marking a sequence of firsts for the county, as she is the county’s first migrant, first African, and first black female mayor.
With her election as Cathaoirleach of the Longford Municipal District, Ms Adejinmi becomes the country’s first female African Mayor. Her foray into politics began in 2016 when she campaigned for a local politician. Her next-door neighbor approached her shortly after and invited her to join Fianna Fáil.
“At that point, I became extremely active. I was attending meetings and fundraisers, traveling to Dublin for the conference, and participating in whatever way I could,” she explained.
She interned with the Immigrant Council of Ireland in 2018, shadowing Joe Flaherty while he was a municipal politician. Mr Flaherty was elected as a TD in 2020, and Ms Adejinmi was co-opted into his seat.
Ms. Adejinmi described herself as “truly honoured” to be elected Mayor this year after a unanimous vote.
Ms Adejinmi stated that there are impediments to migrants becoming involved in politics, particularly in rural areas. The biggest impediment has been getting more migrants to register to vote.
“I’m speaking from a Nigerian perspective, and one major issue there is a lack of faith in the police force. People are hesitant or unwilling to interact with authorities unless they feel threatened.
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There is no shortage of skill in the migrant community, but there is a scarcity of migrant community leaders.”
“I would not have considered politics if it hadn’t been for my neighbor inviting me to join his party,” she added. Ms Adejinmi’s priority were getting to work, integrating into the society, and nurturing her children in order to provide a good quality of life for her family until she was approached directly about being engaged.
Her top goals, she stated, are jobs and housing.