Funeral of boy (3) killed in lift shaft takes place in Galway

Mother to travel to family in Nigeria to mourn son

Mourners leave lighted candles following the funeral service  Solomon Soremekun. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Mourners leave lighted candles following the funeral service Solomon Soremekun. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

 


A grieving mother is to travel home to her family in Nigeria to mourn her three-year-old son who died in Galway last week.

Omolara Alibi is making plans to return to Nigeria to join her family in a traditional mourning for her little boy, who was killed when he was trapped in a lift shaft.

Solomon Soremekun died from crush injuries after falling into the shaft at the Hynes Building office complex in Galway city centre last Monday. The Garda and the Health and Safety Authority are both investigating the tragedy.

The family had arrived in Galway only in late December.

Ms Alibi had taken her four children to the local social welfare office to complete some paperwork when the tragedy happened.

She was too distraught to attend her son’s funeral in Galway on Saturday and grieved privately with her three daughters as Solomon’s body was taken from the mortuary at Galway University Hospital to the New Cemetery in Bohermore.

“She cannot be present. It is too much for her to bear,” Ms Alibi’s solicitor Gerard O’Donnell confirmed.


Prayer service
The boy’s father, Ade Soremekun, a Dublin-based accountant, travelled to Galway after being informed of the tragedy and attended the prayer service at the hospital.

The Nigerian community in Galway gathered with Solomon’s father at the hospital mortuary to say a final farewell at midday on Saturday.

Among those in attendance were the consular minister of the embassy of Nigeria, Umar A Abb, mayor of Galway Pádraig Conneely (FG), Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh and former Fianna Fáil minister Frank Fahey.

Pastor Larry Ovie of the Faith Christian Fellowship told mourners that memories of Solomon and his charming life would not die. He asked the congregation to pray for his parents and for Solomon’s sisters, Princess, Esther and Zion, “because that is all we can [do]”. Pre-school teacher Teresa Gyoh from the Teach Áthais Centre in Ballybane recalled how Solomon had been brought by his mother to be registered in the school on the day before the incident.

“Charming boy”
“He was a very calm and charming boy, so sociable. As he walked into the room, he took off his jacket and was so sociable.

“The manager of the centre offered to take Solomon home to his mother because they had only just come to Galway and when he was getting into the car, I said ‘See you tomorrow’,” Ms Gyoh said.

Teachers from St Finian’s pre-school in Lucan, Co Dublin, which Solomon had attended before moving to Galway, presented a framed photograph of Solomon to his father at the mortuary.

A copy was also taken to Galway for his mother.