Mother and daughter-in-law in graveside fight

Mother and daughter-in-law in graveside fight
Published: 2015 January 10 00:32:01 (7983 Views)
More than 200 mourners were forced to witness a disgraceful graveside fight between a deceased British soldier's widow and mother.

Mourners, including 40 Black Watch soldiers, watched in shocked silence as Mark Connolly's wife Stacy and his mother Linda McComiskie pushed and shoved each other just yards from his coffin in a fight over his body.

The pair were backed by groups of supporters who also hurled insults at each other across the grave.

At one stage a floral tribute was thrown in a bin as the argument threatened to escalate out of control.

Police were finally forced to separate the two women so the ceremony at Forfar Cemetery could continue.

Afghanistan war hero Mark was finally buried after his body was kept in a London mortuary for three years while Mrs McComiskie waged a legal war with Stacy.

Mark died from a freak punch in a row with a friend at the base where they were stationed in 2011.

The 24-year-old's death led to the long running battle between Stacy, 29, and her mother-in-law.

Mrs McComiskie, Mark's brother Paul and a bus full of mourners from his home town of Leven were left sitting on a coach outside the British Legion after being told they weren't welcome at the service.

Mrs McComiskie said her love for her son could "never be taken away".

She said: "At that last minute she's done this. What is she thinking. She had no right to do this to us.

"They said it was for friends and family only. Our family is all here - this is his proper family.

"She will never take away my love for Mark and my memories. I don't know how she can live with herself for this. It's just not right."

Mark's brother Paul, 30, added: "I was shocked - totally appalled. It's Mark's day so we will be going to the cemetery for the burial."

The group then went to the graveside where they were joined by their local minister.

Mrs McComiskie held a poster and wore her son's medals on her chest and as mourners arrived she began shouting at them saying: "I'm Mark's mother, he's mine" as well as ranting about Stacy and her family.

When Mark's coffin arrived there was a confrontation between the two groups. Stacy asked that the service could be halted until Mrs McComiskie and her party left.

The situation was resolved when the mother's minister led her away to another part of the cemetery to allow the committal to finish.

At the end of the ceremony the Black Watch soldiers fired two volleys of shots, a bugler played the last post and piper played flowers of the forest.

Everyone left the cemetery apart from Mrs McComiskie who carried out her own ceremony at the graveside.

Stacy wanted her husband to be buried in Forfar, where she plans to join him eventually, but Mrs McComiskie – the executor of his will – said Mark had told his gran that he wanted to be buried beside his grandad at a cemetery near her home in Methil, Fife.

Mark named Stacy as executor in his will after their wedding in February 2009, but changed it after a senior officer wrongly told him this was not permitted. Crucially Sheriff Valerie Johnston viewed the army's advice as "erroneous" and backed Stacy over her mother-in-law in the bitter battle.

She accused Mrs McComiskie of having "little regard for the body of her son languishing in storage."

She added: "She has been blinded by her own desire to win the argument. She showed a lack of insight into the situation of a young recently widowed woman and a distinct lack of compassion. "She thought only of herself and how she had been overlooked."

It is understood that Mrs McComiskie has arranged her own memorial service at Wellesley Church, in Methil, on Saturday.

Source - Daily Record

Tags: funeral, solder,

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