Black Watch funeral will be delayed

The late Private Mark Connolly of Methil
The late Private Mark Connolly of Methil

AFTER a four-month wait, a new legal challenge will delay the burial of a Black Watch soldier yet again.

Mum Linda McComiskie had expected the arrival of her late son’s body in Fife last Friday, but a last-minute injunction has prevented the Ministry of Defence from releasing him.

Preparations were already under way to bury Private Mark Connolly - who died in May - at East Wemyss Cemetery at the end of this month.

“It’s a nightmare,“ said Ms McComiskie, who lives in Methil.

“We could be looking at another two months’ delay.

“This cannot keep going on.”

The 24-year-old soldier - a former Buckhaven High School pupil - died from injuries sustained during an alleged bar brawl at army premises in Sennelager, Germany.

In his last will, Pte Connolly named his mother as executor and, according to Ms McComiskie, expressed a wish to be buried in the family plot in East Wemyss.

However, his widow Stacy (26) - the beneficiary of the will - launched a legal campaign to have her late husband buried in Forfar instead, where the couple had set up home.

Last month, a Court of Session judge upheld a military ruling that Pte Connolly’s body - which is being kept in London - should be made available to his mother.

But a fresh injunction has been launched at Inverness Sheriff Court by Stacy Connolly, with a view to her acting as co-executor of the estate.

An army spokesman said: “We understand Pte Connolly’s widow has gone to court to seek further advice.

“Under the circumstances, the MoD cannot release the body of Pte Connolly until this whole situation has been resolved by both parties.”