Fianna Fáil councillor Uruemu Adejinmi, who is a TMDD alumni as she participated in the TMDD Summit of Athens 2019, has been elected as Mayor of Longford County Council, marking a series of firsts for the county, as she is the first migrant, first African and first black female to become Mayor.
In 2018, she undertook an internship with the Immigrant Council of Ireland, shadowing Joe Flaherty while he was a local councillor. In 2020, Mr Flaherty became a TD and Ms Adejinmi was co-opted to his seat. Ms Adejinmi said she was “deeply honoured” to take over as Mayor this year following a unanimous election.
“There’s a huge silo in getting information across to diverse community groups so it’s been amazing having that link to council offices to share information to migrants to help them to get access to services and support,” she said. There are barriers to migrants becoming involved in politics, particularly in more rural areas, Ms Adejinmi said. The main barrier has been getting more migrants onto the electoral register.
“I speak from a Nigerian perspective and one big issue in that regard is there isn’t a great trust with the police force. People are reluctant or not willing to engage with police unless they absolutely have to because of experiences back home.” That cultural attitude “takes time for people to get around”, she said.
You can read the whole interview in the Irish Times.