Sunday 22 April 2018

Mother and daughter's harrowing final farewell to tragic lift boy (3)

Gardai at the scene of the tragic accident in Galway city
Gardai at the scene of the tragic accident in Galway city
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

THE mother of a three-year-old boy who died after falling into a lift shaft has told how the entire tragedy was over in a moment.

Omolara Akinyede lost her three-year-old son Solomon in a freak accident after he was trapped by a lift Galway city.

Ms Akinyede and her seven-year-old daughter Princess visited Galway city morgue yesterday to pray over Solomon's remains.

Princess whispered a final message into his ear while Ms Akinyede tried to control her emotions. Her two younger children Esther (2) and four-month-old baby Zion were cared for by friends as she said farewell to her only son.

"She is just in total shock. She had just got Solomon into pre-school in Galway and was in the Social Welfare offices getting forms filled for that. She can't speak about what happened, all she could say was it happened so quickly, it was all over in a minute, then she starts crying," said one friend.

Ms Akinyede, who is a trained nurse, must now decide whether to bury her son in Ireland or bring his remains back to Nigeria.

"She is so confused about what to do and she has been speaking with her family in Nigeria," added the friend.

Ms Akinyede has been living in Ireland for the past eight years and her four children were born here. Solomon was born in Cavan. Despite only moving to Galway in recent weeks, Princess had already started at a local school.

"They were looking forward to a life here -- now that has been torn apart," said Jubilee Echefu, who has stayed with the grieving mother and her three daughters since the tragedy.

Ms Echefu, who is president of the Association of Nigerians in Galway, said the heartbroken mother had been left further distraught after online messages about her son's death.

"There have been some terrible things said about her, that she must have been negligent. That is not the case," said Ms Echefu.

Pastor Larry Ovi, of the Faith Christian Fellowship, was one of three pastors who prayed over the little boy with the family.

"It was very, very sad. She was just constantly crying but God is consoling her now. Her little boy was just lying there in front of her.

"His sister was very calm, she simply murmured some words into his ear," explained Pastor Ovi.

Solomon died after he suffered crush injuries when he became trapped in a lift shaft at the Hynes Building on Augustine Street in Galway city shortly after 3pm on Monday.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News