(Excerpt from the Irish Embassy website)
People-to-people ties between Ireland and Nigeria have always been strong and pre-date the foundation of our two states. Irish people first came to Nigeria as missionaries in the early 19th century. Perhaps they carried with them the famous "Irish potato" which we now find all over Nigeria or tales of St. Patrick, the legendary patron saint of Ireland and Nigeria. From 1892-1895, Irish revolutionary Roger Casement served as a British Consular Officer in Calabar. He is credited as developing one of the first fresh water systems in the Niger Delta. Nigeria's first Foreign Minister studied law at Trinity College Dublin and was called to the Irish bar in 1944. He returned home in 1947 to work towards an end of colonial rule. When Nigeria achieved its independence, the then Taoiseach (Prime Minister of Ireland) Mr. Seán Lemass, travelled to Nigeria to attend the official celebrations. Shortly afterwards, the Government of Ireland opened an embassy in Lagos - Ireland's first embassy on the African Continent. Today our relationship is as strong as ever and is very much influenced by the vibrant Nigerian community in Ireland.
In our time and in our generation we hope to uphold these foundations set before us by building on and consolidating that partnership that existed long ago and still exists now. We hope to foster and grow this relationship through the Educate Together ethos of "Learn together to Live together".