Belfast Telegraph

Tug-of-war for American tycoon's body ends as Northern Ireland widow agrees to US burial

By Staff Reporter

The Northern Ireland widow of a millionaire Second World War hero has agreed to drop her bid to "lie beside him for all eternity" in an English cemetery after his American family wanted his body flown back.

Olive Murphy (92) had a romance with Paul Morigi during the war and married him in 1944.

Mr Morigi's body has lain in storage at a Sussex undertakers since his death in November 2016 while his "first and last love" Olive, who lives in Eastbourne, and his American ex-wife and family engaged in a heartbreaking tug-of-war over his corpse.

Mr Morigi and Mrs Murphy had a whirlwind wartime romance while he was an officer on the battleship USS Texas, which took part in the D-Day landings.

They were wed from 1944 until 1948 before getting divorced. He wed his second wife Muriel, a fellow American, the same year.

But 60 years later Mr Morigi, by then a millionaire banker, returned to Olive when they were both in their 90s, remarrying her and moving to Eastbourne.

Following his death his daughter Karolyn Morigi-Armstrong and his four grandchildren obtained an injunction preventing his widow from burying him in the UK.

Mrs Morigi-Armstrong and the grandchildren insisted the body belonged in the family plot in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Judge Stuart Isaacs QC, at London's High Court, was asked to decide where he would be finally laid to rest.

But, after anxious urgings from the judge, the families have now reached an agreement that will see Mr Morigi's body returned to America and buried with full military honours.

Belfast Telegraph

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