June 28, 2007
Today was an historic day for local democracy as Portlaoise Town Council elected the first black mayor in the history of Ireland.
Cllr. Rotimi Adebari was elected by a vote of 6 to 3 in a crowded Council Chamber. Cllr. Adebari, a Nigerian national, arrived in Ireland in 2000 and settled in Portlaoise Town. In 2004 he ran for the local Portlaoise Town Council Elections and became the first non-national to take up a position as a public representative in Laois. He then took up the Chair for the election of vice-cathaoirleach, Ms Mary Sweeeny. Both were warmly congratulated by their fellow councillors.