MOURNERS at the funeral of a three-year-old boy who died in a tragic lift accident heard how he had been the light of his mother's life.
Members of the African community held a candle-lit procession as they followed the remains of Solomon Soremekun, 3, to his final resting place.
In a touching tribute to the child, they sang This little Light of Mine as they prayed over his coffin at a Galway cemetery.
Pastor Larry Ovie, who led the prayers, told those gathered that Solomon's mother had asked mourners to carry candles.
"Solomon was the light of her life, that is why we are carrying candles for her," he added.
Pastor Ovie said that Solomon was now a little angel watching over his family.
"His mother told me that the memory of Solomon and his charming life must not die. Physically yes, but the memory of his charming life must not die," he added.
In accordance with Nigerian customs, neither Solomon's mother Omolara Alibi nor father Ade Soremekun attended the burial.
Mr Soremekun had attended prayers earlier at the hospital mortuary. However, the experience proved too distressing for his mother, who did not attend.
A number of those gathered recalled memories of Solomon, describing him as a charming, social boy. Teachers from his former school, St Finian's pre-school in Lucan, travelled to Galway for the funeral -- bringing a beautiful framed picture of the smiling little boy to give to his mother.
Mayor of Galway Padraig Conneely attended the funeral and spoke by the graveside, telling those gathered that Solomon would forever more be part of Galway.
Umar Abba, consular minister from the Nigerian embassy, travelled to Galway for the funeral. Former minister Frank Fahy also attended the prayer service.
A local taxi driver recalled meeting Solomon when he picked up the family. He told those gathered that the little boy had made a lasting impression on him.
Pastor Ovie urged those gathered to pray for his parents and three sisters. "All we can do for the family is pray, pray for his mother and father and for Princess, Esther and Zion," he said.
Solomon was killed when he suffered crush injuries in a lift accident at Hynes Building in the city centre on Monday afternoon.
A Health and Safety Authority investigation and a garda probe are under way.