Rotimi Adebari

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Rotimi Adebari
Laois County Councillor
In office
Personal details
Okeodan, Ogun State, Nigeria
Political partyIndependent

Rotimi Adebari (born 1964 in Okeodan, Ogun State) is a Nigerian-born Irish politician. He was elected as the first black mayor in Ireland.

A convert from Islam to Christianity, he fled Nigeria in 2000, and made a claim for asylum on the grounds of religious persecution.[1][2] His application was rejected because of insufficient evidence he had personally suffered persecution, but he gained residency because his third child, another boy, was born in Ireland.[2] Against claims that he was a train operator working out of the Queens Park depot on the Bakerloo tube line, Adebari says he travelled to Ireland directly from Nigeria, via Paris, and never worked or lived in London at any time.[3]

He and his family settled in County Laois. In 2004, he was elected as a town councilor in local elections. In June 2007 he was elected as mayor of Portlaoise Town Council (9 members), with support from Fine Gael, Sinn Féin and an Independent councillor.[4] In the 2009 local elections he was re-elected to the town council and also to Laois County Council for the Portlaoise electoral area.

He completed his master's degree in intercultural studies at Dublin City University.[5][6] and set up a firm called Optimum Point Consultancy.

He ran as an independent candidate in the 2011 general election for the Laois–Offaly constituency, though failed to get elected. He received 628 1st preference votes, a share of 0.85%.

He lost his council seat at the 2014 local elections.