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The Embassy’s History

A brief history of the Embassy

In September 1960, Ireland opened a Consulate in Lagos, Nigeria's then capital, headed by Consul Aedan O'Beirne (now deceased). At that time, there were about forty diplomatic missions in Lagos. Mr. O'Beirne arrived in Nigeria in early September and immediately set about meeting with the Chief of Protocol at the Nigerian Foreign Ministry to make arrangements for the visit of Ireland's then Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Seán Lemass. The former Taoiseach visited from 25 September to 2 October 1960 to attend Nigeria's independence celebrations.

In 1961, the Consulate was upgraded to a full Embassy and Ireland's first Ambassador to Nigeria, Eamonn Kennedy (now deceased) assumed duties in Lagos on 30 August 1961. Embassy Lagos was Ireland's first Embassy on the African continent. At that time, approximately 1,000 Irish priests and nuns were working in Nigeria. Though their numbers today are few, the Embassy is regularly reminded of the Irish missionaries' contribution to education in Nigeria.

Abuja became the new capital in 1991 and the Embassy relocated here in 2000. The Embassy is also responsible for Ireland's diplomatic relations with Ghana, Senegal and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

  • Edward (Eamonn) Kennedy : 1961-1964
  • Kevin Rush : 1964-1968
  • Paul Keating: 1968-1970
  • Tadhg O'Sullivan: 1970-1974
  • Michael Flynn: 1974-1977
  • James Kirwan: 1977-1980
  • Aidan Mulloy: 1981-1984
  • Dermot Gallagher: 1985-1987
  • Patrick Cradock: 1989-1993
  • Brendan McMahon: 1994-1998
  • Joseph Lynch: 1998-2003
  • Liam Canniffe: 2003-2007
  • Kyle O'Sullivan: 2007-2010
  • Patrick Fay: 2010-2014
  • Sean Hoy: 2014-