24/01/2017 BBC Newsline


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24/01/2017

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A post-mortem examination is to be carried out following the sudden

:00:00.:00:09.

death of a man in his twenties in north Belfast.

:00:10.:00:11.

His body was found in a house on the Antrim Road this morning.

:00:12.:00:15.

A 37-year-old man arrested on suspicion of drugs offences has

:00:16.:00:17.

been released on bail pending further police inquiries.

:00:18.:00:22.

The Finance Minister has announced that a retired appeal court judge

:00:23.:00:24.

will chair a public inquiry into the Renewable

:00:25.:00:27.

Starting next Wednesday, the inquiry will have the power to compel

:00:28.:00:32.

witnesses to appear and evidence to be produced.

:00:33.:00:37.

Last night, the Assembly backed a plan to cut costs

:00:38.:00:39.

Here is our political correspondent Stephen Walker.

:00:40.:00:46.

This was the last sitting of the Assembly so it seemed

:00:47.:00:48.

appropriate the RHI scheme was on the agenda.

:00:49.:00:51.

Today, it was announced that Patrick Coghlin,

:00:52.:00:53.

the retired Lord Justice of the court of

:00:54.:00:55.

Appeal, will chair an enquiry into the scheme.

:00:56.:00:57.

Openness and transparency will be key touchstones

:00:58.:01:03.

Two key requirements that I pointed to earlier, the investigation

:01:04.:01:15.

will have to compel witnesses and evidence.

:01:16.:01:19.

No stone will be unturned, no dark corners for a light will be

:01:20.:01:22.

The DUP has made it clear that we want an independent enquiry capable

:01:23.:01:38.

of getting to the truth regarding -- she will be aware of that under the

:01:39.:01:47.

enquiries act. The potential for a lengthy enquiry and I am somewhat

:01:48.:01:51.

disappointed to hear there is no intention of an interim report.

:01:52.:01:54.

Last night when the plan was presented by the economy minister

:01:55.:01:56.

aiming to cut costs associated with the RHI

:01:57.:01:58.

Today was the final sitting of the Assembly

:01:59.:02:11.

and it seemed appropriate that the issue of the RHI boiler

:02:12.:02:13.

The very subject that got us to this point in the

:02:14.:02:17.

As MLAs take the lead, two questions spring to mind, who

:02:18.:02:21.

will return and when will Stormont come back?

:02:22.:02:23.

Two more MLAs have announced they won't be standing

:02:24.:02:26.

The Ulster Unionist Alastair Ross and the DUP's Sammy Douglas

:02:27.:02:30.

said they won't seek re-election in March.

:02:31.:02:32.

Meanwhile, the Assembly has conducted its last business

:02:33.:02:34.

in the main Chamber before the election on the 2nd March.

:02:35.:02:36.

Tonight, a handful of members debated rural broadband provision.

:02:37.:02:38.

The last MLA on his feet was Jim Wells of the DUP,

:02:39.:02:42.

before Deputy Speaker Catriona Ruane - who's also leaving the Assembly -

:02:43.:02:44.

The Economy Department was due tomorrow to reveal the names of

:02:45.:02:54.

Today a judge temporarily banned publication of the details

:02:55.:02:59.

But not all the scheme's participants are against being

:03:00.:03:04.

named, as our agriculture and environment correspondent

:03:05.:03:07.

Johnny Kelly runs the Fir Trees Hotel.

:03:08.:03:20.

In 2014, he spent ?50,000 putting in a wood pellet burner.

:03:21.:03:22.

He says the income from it is part of

:03:23.:03:24.

plans to pay for a wider hotel refurbishment and if the subsidies

:03:25.:03:27.

He has no qualms about letting people

:03:28.:03:30.

I think it's important in the future as well

:03:31.:03:37.

as publishing the names of people who engaged

:03:38.:03:39.

second publication should go out after the investigation and that

:03:40.:03:42.

should be the names of those people who abused the scheme.

:03:43.:03:45.

Allegations of abuse and the potential for

:03:46.:03:47.

reputational damage are part of the reason many firms

:03:48.:03:49.

300 of them, around a quarter of the total, were part of a group

:03:50.:03:53.

action by the Renewable Heat Association today

:03:54.:03:55.

to stop the economy department publishing the details as planned

:03:56.:03:57.

Only 4% of businesses in the scheme have

:03:58.:04:03.

given permission for the details to be released.

:04:04.:04:05.

For several hours, lawyers argued over

:04:06.:04:07.

which had presidence - privacy or the public interest?

:04:08.:04:17.

The judge reserved his findings for a week but that left

:04:18.:04:20.

the problem of the potential publication of names tomorrow.

:04:21.:04:22.

To address that, he issued an injunction banning the department

:04:23.:04:24.

from issuing the names of anyone who was a member

:04:25.:04:26.

of the Renewable Heat Association as of 5pm this evening.

:04:27.:04:29.

The issue of what happens to anyone else, that was left to the

:04:30.:04:32.

The economy minister was on his feet in the assembly as the

:04:33.:04:37.

It left him in an awkward position about what to

:04:38.:04:40.

I particularly regret the injunction that has been sought and

:04:41.:04:44.

awarded this afternoon because I do think in and of itself it prevents

:04:45.:04:50.

full transparency and I will take the time to consider what can now

:04:51.:04:55.

The truth is that it's probably still

:04:56.:05:00.

The department says it is looking at options for

:05:01.:05:03.

maximum transparency which are consistent

:05:04.:05:05.

The Supreme Court has ruled that Parliament's consent is needed

:05:06.:05:13.

for the Government to trigger Brexit and that the devolved

:05:14.:05:15.

administrations do not have to be consulted.

:05:16.:05:20.

The SDLP says the judgement "undermines the democratic

:05:21.:05:22.

It was the biggest vote in a generation.

:05:23.:05:31.

But while the UK voted to leave the European Union,

:05:32.:05:33.

Northern Ireland, like Scotland, voted to remain.

:05:34.:05:38.

We're leaving anyway, says the Prime Minister.

:05:39.:05:40.

But some aruged that Northern Ireland, as a devolved

:05:41.:05:45.

institution, should have its say, perhaps even a veto,

:05:46.:05:49.

before Article 50 is triggered, and the process

:05:50.:05:51.

Today, the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court,

:05:52.:05:57.

Relations with the EU are a matter for the UK Government.

:05:58.:06:04.

The judges dismissed two legal challenges from Northern Ireland,

:06:05.:06:08.

from political parties and the victims campaigner Raymond McCord.

:06:09.:06:12.

They had argued that the UK could not quit the EU

:06:13.:06:15.

without the consent of the people of Northern Ireland under

:06:16.:06:21.

the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

:06:22.:06:23.

The Supreme Court ruled against the Government,

:06:24.:06:25.

stating Parliament must be consulted before talks begin

:06:26.:06:27.

However, they ruled the assembly here at Stormont

:06:28.:06:33.

or any other devolved matter, doesn't have to be

:06:34.:06:35.

There's been a mixed reaction to the judgement.

:06:36.:06:38.

Good result for the people of Northern Ireland.

:06:39.:06:40.

56% of people from Northern Ireland voted to remain.

:06:41.:06:42.

We said all along that it has to go to

:06:43.:06:45.

We are very disappointed that the Supreme Court and the

:06:46.:06:53.

British Government do not recognise that this Assembly and other

:06:54.:06:57.

devolved assemblies should have the right to have a say

:06:58.:06:59.

We believe it drives a coach and horse through the

:07:00.:07:07.

devolution that we have fought so long for and worked

:07:08.:07:10.

SDLP MPs will be voting against the triggering of Article 50.

:07:11.:07:16.

But it seems unlikely the vote will do anything other

:07:17.:07:18.

than delay the legislation passing through Parliament.

:07:19.:07:20.

The Government says it's still aiming to begin negotiations

:07:21.:07:22.

on withdrawing from the EU by the end of March.

:07:23.:07:29.

The police have released unconditionally two men aged 36

:07:30.:07:31.

and 39, who were arrested over Sunday's attempted murder

:07:32.:07:35.

A 30-year-old man remains in custody.

:07:36.:07:40.

Up to ten bullets were fired during the attack at a busy petrol

:07:41.:07:43.

The officer who was among the customers was wounded in the arm.

:07:44.:07:50.

An update now on story we highlighted yesterday

:07:51.:07:52.

about a potentially life changing drug.

:07:53.:07:55.

Three children who suffer from a severe muscle wasting

:07:56.:07:57.

disease are waiting to see if they will get the drug.

:07:58.:08:00.

Their parents accused the Belfast Trust of not

:08:01.:08:02.

Today the Health Minister blamed a breakdown in communication

:08:03.:08:07.

and said the families could expect to meet clinicians on Thursday.

:08:08.:08:14.

Let's have a look at the weather prospects now.

:08:15.:08:16.

Keyed evening. No frost tonight. The mild air that arrived today stays

:08:17.:08:28.

with us tonight. There is lots of cloud and foggy over the hills, odd

:08:29.:08:33.

spots of drizzle and the breeze will pick up. Quite windy at times

:08:34.:08:38.

especially in the exposed parts of the east coast. Tomorrow the

:08:39.:08:42.

southerly wind will be brisk. Fortunately, lots of dry weather to

:08:43.:08:46.

come and it should still be on the mild side. Because of that breeze,

:08:47.:08:52.

it should break up the cloud. A dry start, quite cloudy but breaking up

:08:53.:08:57.

in places of the day goes on. Much colder if you're travelling across

:08:58.:09:00.

south-east England, southern England, some frost ice and fog and

:09:01.:09:05.

it will be chilly, especially for the fog sticks. Dry weather across

:09:06.:09:09.

most parts of Britain, most of the rain falling over north-west

:09:10.:09:13.

Scotland and the west coast of Ireland. Possibly gale force wind at

:09:14.:09:18.

times. Once again tomorrow we will see temperatures in double digits. A

:09:19.:09:22.

little bit brighter, less gloomy compared to today and generally dry.

:09:23.:09:28.

Things are going to cool down because we start to drag our error

:09:29.:09:33.

in familiar continent which has been extremely cold of late. It will

:09:34.:09:38.

still be a keen wind. Much cooler Thursday on words. Temperatures will

:09:39.:09:43.

fall, dampness, strong winds and initially but those winds will start

:09:44.:09:47.

to ease. Frost in places this coming weekend. Mild tomorrow.

:09:48.:09:51.