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Compensation Payments Issued to Former Miners

Coal mining area of Tipperary

Deputy Noel Coonan has warmly welcomed the news that the first compensation payments are being issued by the Department of Social Protection, to former miners suffering as a result of injuries received at work. The Tipperary North Fine Gael TD, who has been lobbying on the miner’s behalf for many years, said the cases currently being prioritised are former miners suffering from Pneumoconiosis; a disease resulting from breathing in coal dust.

Speaking to www.thurles. info Deputy Coonan stated: “As a result of making representations to the Department only yesterday on behalf of a former miner, I was informed that one applicant, who suffers from serious respiratory problems, has been compensated. Following this, it is expected that six cases will be processed in the coming weeks, with others held, pending the outcome of pre-existing appeal cases. At long last due recognition has been afforded to miners who suffer unduly because of poor working conditions experienced in the mines. After years of frustration, it is my hope that the payments will afford the former miners some degree of comfort in their life ahead. Many of my constituents who worked in Ballingarry or Castlecomer mines are suffering today from illnesses such as pneumoconiosis, obstructive pulmonary disease, tinnitus and asthma and there is a duty of care owed to them by this State. The mortality rate of a miner is much higher than that of an ordinary individual and I have always believed the issue of redress is of huge importance and it has been the subject of several parliamentary queries.”

A total of 29 miners have lodged claims with many more due to follow. Those who are either currently in receipt of Disablement Benefit or who previously applied, can be referred directly to the Department’s Chief Medical Assessor, once they have completed a review form and returned it to the Department.

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