Thousands gather to farewell Abdallah kids

Heather McNab
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ABDALLAH SIBLINGS FUNERAL

Thousands have attended the joint funeral of three NSW siblings killed by an alleged drink driver

Silence fell over thousands of mourners as white doves and balloons in the shape of rosary beads were released above the coffins of three Sydney children run down on a footpath by an alleged drink-driver.

The Abdallah siblings Sienna, 8, Angelina, 12, and Antony, 13, were killed when a car mounted an Oatlands footpath as they went for ice cream last Saturday.

The children died at the scene alongside their cousin Veronique Sakr, 11.

About 2000 people filled Our Lady of Lebanon Co-Cathedral in Harris Park on Monday morning to farewell the siblings.

The employees of Danny Abdallah, the children's father, formed a guard of honour outside the church as white hearses arrived.

Wearing white polo shirts emblazoned with the logo of Mr Abdallah's construction business, hundreds of people linked arms to line the church driveway while other mourners held white roses.

Bells tolled as pallbearers, wearing navy suits with pink shirts to represent the children's genders, carried the coffins into the church.

Monsignor Shora Maree in his homily addressed Mr Abdallah and the children's mother Leila Geagea, praising them for their faith amid tragedy.

When Ms Geagea visited the site where three of her six children died, she said she forgave the alleged drink-driver Samuel William Davidson.

These "words of forgiveness ... stunned the world," Mons Shora said.

"That doesn't come just from something human, that comes from the divine."

The couple sat directly in front of the three white coffins flanking their surviving daughter, who cried at points during the service.

Dressed all in white, Ms Geagea took the stage to pray, asking God for the comfort of the Holy Spirit for their family during their "hour of pain".

The children's bereaved grandmother Georgette Abdallah shook her hands in the air and cried during the funeral before kissing framed pictures of Sienna, Angelina and Antony at the front of the church.

On the last day he spent with his father, Antony told Mr Abdallah he wanted to dedicate his basketball game to fallen NBA legend Kobe Bryant. The 13-year-old's coffin was draped with Bryant's No.24 LA Lakers jersey.

Mons Shora told the congregation about Sienna's wish to spend her eighth birthday looking after the homeless, and how Angelina's Year Six teacher told her parents "your daughter cares for everybody".

The couple wrapped their arms around each other as they followed the coffins out of the church, where the photos of the children were held aloft as some raised their arms and clapped as drums played.

As white doves and balloons strung together in the shape of a rosary chain were released, silence fell among the thousands gathered outside.

The children will be buried in a private service.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and the prime minister's wife, Jenny Morrison, were among those at the service. A representative for the Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces, General Joseph Aoun, was also in attendance.

A contingent of about 100 students from the Kings School and Tara Anglican School, which the children attended, were at the service.

A prayer said on behalf of both schools thanked God for the friendships students had with the Abdallah children: "May we cherish all the good times we had together. Fly high, little angels."

Samuel William Davidson, 29, was allegedly three times the legal blood alcohol limit when he is said to have driven into the children.

He's been charged with 20 offences, including four counts of manslaughter, and is due to next appear in court in April.

A funeral service for Veronique is scheduled for Tuesday morning at the Santa Sabina college chapel in Strathfield.