“As long as my mum and God are watching over me, my dad, brothers and sisters, there is no one on earth who can break me and my family. May her rays of light shine upon us forever.”
The poignant words of 17-year-old Melanie Esezobor as she paid a moving tribute to her late mum Queenent Oligie Esezobor earlier today at St Mel’s Cathedral Centre, Longford where an estimated 600 mourners gathered to pay their final respects.
Queenent Oligie Esezobor (42) of Lisbrack, Longford tragically lost her life along with her sister Fanny Akenbor (Ardeevan, Longford), Pat Jeeti and her ten-year-old daughter Jessica, following a horrific car collision on the N4 near Mullingar on Saturday, June 28 last.
Four candles were lit to remember each of the deceased and chief celebrant at today’s requiem mass Fr Brendan O’Sullivan CC said the community of Longford was devastated by the news of the tragic accident.
“We can only imagine the devastation that it is for you the family,” said Fr O’Sullivan.
He added, “Queenent was a loving wife and mother, a woman dedicated to family and to her faith. She was a very spiritual person and she had a wonderful zest for life, let’s remember the good times that she shared with everyone of you, her humour. And there is no doubt that she will continue to watch over you her loving family.”
Queenent is survived by her husband Kingsley Esezobor, their five children Melanie, Kelly (15), Marlina (12), Princess (10) and Killian (7), and her brothers and sisters, including Lucky Oligie (USA), Kingsley Oligie (USA) and Doreen (UK).
Fr Paul Kangkai, who made the journey from Nigeria and Fr Joe McGrath concelebrated mass, while the Nigerian Embassy was represented by Abubakar Jidda.
Teachers and pupils from St Emer’s NS and Scoil Mhuire in Longford formed a guard of honour and Fr O’Sullivan thanked Principals Martina McCormack (St Emer’s), Paul Costello (Scoil Mhuire) and teachers and pupils from St Mel’s College, St Joseph’s and Melview NS for their participation in the ceremony. “Teachers and young people know these little one’s best in our community so we have no doubt that your prayers and support will be a great blessing to them.”
Fr O’Sullivan assured Queenent’s husband Kingsley that ‘you will have the best of support in the times ahead as you become mother and father to these little one’s left in your care’.
He continued, “May you have the consolation and strength and may you receive the blessing of our gathering with you in prayer. Today you are surrounded by the love and support of the African community, of our parish community here in St Mel’s, Longford. You have the support of our teachers and our schools, of your good friends and neighbours, all whom have helped you on this journey over the past number of days.”
Fr O’Sullivan also shared a reflection written by Queenent. “This is her words - Relatives and friends I am about to leave and my last breath does not say goodbye. How my love for you is truly timeless beyond the time of the day.
“And all I take with me is your love, the millions of memories of all that we have shared, so I truly enter my new life a better person. Fear not, grieve not at my departure you that I have loved so much, for my roots are yours forever.”
Queenent’s son Kelly said his mum was a great source of encouragement. “I’m so sad to see her go. Thanks for everything.”
Melanie said her wonderful mother was and still is a role model. “She was always patient, kind, courageous and loving. I am blessed to have her in my life. She was a source of advice, inspiration, determination and strong will. In the darkness all she could see is the light. There was no room for pessimism in her life - God, family and friends were the centre and heart of her attention and dedication.”
Queenent’s brother Lucky said there was something very special about his sister. He told mourners, “You are here because of your love for Queenent. My sister is beautiful. I’m not a Facebook fan but if you are, you know what I am talking about when I say ‘the love Goddess’.”
Queenent, daughter of Chief John Oligie and Madam Catherine Oligie, was born on October 30, 1971 in Benin-City, Edo State, Nigeria where she attended primary and secondary school. She later moved overseas to pursue higher education before settling in Longford.
She was laid to rest at Ballymacormack cemetery.
Funeral arrangements for the remaining crash victims - Fanny Akenbor, Pat Jeeti and her daughter Jessica, have yet to be finalised.