| 16.3°C Dublin

Sister whispered final message to lift tragedy boy (3)

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

Omolara Akinyede lost her son, Solomon, in a freak accident that saw him suffer crush injuries after falling into the shaft in Galway.

She and Solomon's seven-year-old sister, Princess, said a heartbreaking farewell to him yesterday as they prayed over his remains in the city morgue.

Ms Akinyede wept as her daughter whispered a final message into her little brother's ear.

Her two younger children, Esther (2) and four-month-old Zion, were cared for by friends.

"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," said one friend.

"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."

Ms Akinyede, who is a trained nurse, must decide whether to bury her son in Ireland or Nigeria. She is so confused about what to do and she has been speaking with her family in Nigeria," added a friend.

She has been living here for the past eight years and her four children are irish-born.

Despite only moving to Galway in recent weeks, Princess was at an Irish school and Solomon had enrolled for pre-school.

"They were looking forward to a life here, and now that has been torn apart," said Jubilee Echefu, president of the Association of Nigerians in Galway.

Ms Echefu has stayed with Ms Akinyede and her three daughters since the tragedy.

The family have been unable to face returning home and have spent the past two days in a B&B.


Solomon was with his mother and three sisters at the social welfare offices on the first floor of the Hynes Building when he became separated from them. He was on his own when he was seriously injured in the fall.

Investigations by gardai and the Health and Safety Authority are under way into how he could have entered the lift shaft.

The office was closed yesterday, with social welfare recipients due to sign on being told to reschedule.