The future of the Durham Miners’ Gala has been threatened following £2 million in legal costs being charged to the Durham Miners’ Association. Full details of the case are below the picture.
The bill means the future of the gala cannot be assured unless enough donations can be received through the “Friends of the Durham miners’ Gala” to cover the ongoing yearly costs.
You can either make a one-off donation or, even better, set up a standing order for as little as £2 per month to become a “Friend of the Durham miners’ Gala, and receive brochure with photographs and a report of the gala each year.
Click the below donate button to make an on-line donation now
Durham Miners’ Association – Press Release 28/4/2014
Disabled Miners Denied Justice
Costs of £2M puts Durham Miners’ Gala at risk
The Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) has received a bill for £2M as the final settlement of the legal costs incurred in its six-year fight for compensation for miners suffering from osteoarthritis of the knees.
Dave Hopper, General Secretary of the DMA, said, ‘Many of our members are severely disabled by this crippling industrial disease and we were desperately disappointed when a judge in the High Court refused allow their case to be heard.’
‘Our case was watertight. Lawyers on both sides agreed that the injuries to our members was caused by their work in the mines and we had compelling evidence that the National Coal Board (NCB) knew that miners working in certain conditions and doing jobs which involved heavy lifting were at risk of developing this painful disease. We were confident therefore, that given the chance, our lawyers could have proved that the NCB were liable for the damage our members have suffered.
‘We were so determined to get them the justice they deserve we appealed the Judges ruling in the Court of Appeal, but to no avail.
‘It is a sad day for British justice when a judge can decide that men who have given a lifetime of service to the economy of the country, working in hard and dangerous conditions underground, can’t have their day in court.
‘Paying this bill will have a serious effect on our finances, which means that our ability to continue with the Durham Miners’ Gala will depend largely on donations to The Friends of the Durham Miners’ Gala.’
In 2012, the Durham Miners’ Association set up the Friends of the Durham Miners’ Gala to ensure that this increasingly popular celebration of trade union and community spirit would continue well into the future.
Dave Hopper emphasised. ‘We believe that this is a people’s Gala and if we have thousands of people giving a little each year the Gala will be safe. Of course, we will be more than happy to receive bigger donations from trade union organisations but it was the people of Durham that saved the Gala and in the long run it will be the people of Durham, and our many well wishers who attend from all over Britain, who will keep it going.
To join The Friends of the Gala on line go to: http://www.durhamminers.org or write to: Friends of the Durham Miners’ Gala, PO Box 6, The Miners’ Hall, Durham DH1 4BB
For further information ring 0191 384 3515