Hundreds turn out to pay respects as little Ahmed buried
ABOUT 300 mourners gathered at a Dublin mosque to pay their respects to little Ahmed Bari, who tragically drowned in a drainage ditch.
In line with the family's Muslim faith, the five-year-old was buried just a day after he died. The youngster drowned in a ditch near his family's home at Belgree Lawns, in Tyrrelstown, West Dublin, on Monday morning.
Family members, including his heartbroken parents Haider and Amal and his grandparents, gathered at the mosque in Clonskeagh for the memorial service.
Ahmed's seven-year-old brother Noman cut a tragic figure as he clutched onto a single sunflower as family members, including his little two-year-old sister Aisha, wept at the open casket in a prayer room.
Iman Hussein Halawa conducted the Janaza, or funeral prayer.
The faithful solemnly gathered in lines behind the Iman as he prayed for the soul of the deceased and the consolation of his heart-broken family before offering his personal condolences to the family.
The boy's body was then taken to the Newcastle cemetery in south Dublin where he was buried by the male mourners in keeping with Islamic tradition.
The accident unfolded on what should have been a happy day for the boy as he was preparing for his final day of school before the summer break.
But his heartbroken uncle Azhar Bari said the little boy's father Haider knew something was wrong when he woke up and Ahmed was nowhere in sight, but the front door to the family home was open.
After alerting gardai and frantically searching the neighbourhood, Mr Bari learned the worst from gardai after a jogger found the little boy unconscious and face-down in the ditch.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Tragically, the spot where he died was one of Ahmed's favourite places where he would go and throw stones into the pond.
The family, who originally hail from Pakistan, had lived in Tralee, Co Kerry, before moving to Dublin where both Ahmed and his brother were able to receive education catering to their special needs.
Locals questioned why there was no barrier or fence around the pond.
Gardai, meanwhile, said they are treating the death as a tragic accident.