Prime Minister Brown to give eulogy for trade union legend


Gordon BrownBy Alexander Lawrie

PRIME MINISTER Gordon Brown is to return home to the Kingdom of Fife to deliver a eulogy at the memorial for a respected trade union leader.

Lawrence Daly, a former general secretary of the National Union of Miners, passed away in May and more than 400 ex-miners are expected to attend the ceremony in Dunfermline Abbey on August 20.

Mr Daly, originally from Kelty, Fife, worked his way from working the coalfields in Fife to the very top of the trade union ladder.

Along with the Prime Minister’s tribute there will be a speech from Ian Lavery, the current NUM president, and MSP Cathy Peattie will sing Robert Burns’ Ae Fond Kiss.

Mr Daly will be remembered for taking on the then Tory PM Ted Heath during the famous miners’ disputes of the 1972 and 1974, winning major gains in wages and conditions for NUM members.

The subsequent success of the miners’ union led by Mr Daly led to an exasperated Heath calling a general election which the Tories eventually lost.

Founded Socialist movement

The Fife miner’s varied career took him from being a local councillor with Fife County Council to head one of the most powerful unions in the country.

His father was a founding member of the Communist Party of Great Britain and Daly himself helped to found the Fife Socialist League in 1957.

In 1975 Mr Daly sustained major injuries after being involved in serious road accident and was forced to give up work for several years.

During the planned memorial, the Croy Miners Choir will give renditions of two of Mr Daly’s favourite songs, The Road to the Isles and A Man’s A Man For A’ That following the PM’s eulogy and a closing address by the Rev Hugh Ormiston.