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 candlelit 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.
Following 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 small group of mourners had gathered around the little boy, resting in his coffin with a teddy in his hand.
A number of those gathered recalled memories of Solomon, describing him as a charming, social boy who made an impact on all those he met. 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. He urged residents of the city to visit the little boy's grave when they found themselves in the cemetery.
Umar Abba, consular minister from the Nigerian embassy travelled to Galway for the funeral, telling mourners to pray that they would never see such a tragic incident again. Former minister Frank Fahy also attended the prayer service.
One of the last people to speak to Solomon was Teresa Gyoh, who works at the Teach Athais Centre in Ballyban where the three-year-old had just been enrolled in pre-school.
"He was a very charming, calm and sensitive boy. As soon as he walked into the playschool you just seen his personality. He was a very strong spirited boy, so sociable, so charming," he added.
A local taxi driver named Frank recalled meeting Solomon when he picked up the family from their Doughiska home. He told those gathered that the little boy had been a lasting impression on him. When he had heard the news of the tragedy he had hoped it wasn't Solomon who was injured. He had driven straight to their home to check on the family.
Pastor Ovie urged those gathered to pray for his parents and three sisters, adding that that was all that could be done for them.
"All we can do for the family is pray, pray for his mother and father and for Princess, Esther and Zion," he said.
The Pastor added that Solomon's mother still had questions about how her son had died, but said that only God could help her as she awaited answers.
Solomon was killed when he suffered crush injuries in a lift accident at Hynes Building in the city centre on Monday afternoon. His mother has told how her son had entered the lift before the doors shut closed before the rest of the family could enter.
She has told her legal representative Gerard O'Donnell that Solomon had cried out to her asking her to help him before his tragic death.
A Health and Safety Authority investigation and a garda probe are under way. They will attempt to establish how the boy went from inside the elevator to being trapped by the lift shaft.
Mr O'Donnell said his client was "tormented" and was desperate for answers.