24/01/2017 BBC Newsline


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


death of a man in his twenties in north Belfast.


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


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


been released on bail pending further police inquiries.


The Finance Minister has announced that a retired appeal court judge


will chair a public inquiry into the Renewable


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


witnesses to appear and evidence to be produced.


Last night, the Assembly backed a plan to cut costs


Here is our political correspondent Stephen Walker.


This was the last sitting of the Assembly so it seemed


appropriate the RHI scheme was on the agenda.


Today, it was announced that Patrick Coghlin,


the retired Lord Justice of the court of


Appeal, will chair an enquiry into the scheme.


Openness and transparency will be key touchstones


Two key requirements that I pointed to earlier, the investigation


will have to compel witnesses and evidence.


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


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


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


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


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


Last night when the plan was presented by the economy minister


aiming to cut costs associated with the RHI


Today was the final sitting of the Assembly


and it seemed appropriate that the issue of the RHI boiler


The very subject that got us to this point in the


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


will return and when will Stormont come back?


Two more MLAs have announced they won't be standing


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


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


Meanwhile, the Assembly has conducted its last business


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


Tonight, a handful of members debated rural broadband provision.


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


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


The Economy Department was due tomorrow to reveal the names of


Today a judge temporarily banned publication of the details


But not all the scheme's participants are against being


named, as our agriculture and environment correspondent


Johnny Kelly runs the Fir Trees Hotel.


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


He says the income from it is part of


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


He has no qualms about letting people


I think it's important in the future as well


as publishing the names of people who engaged


second publication should go out after the investigation and that


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


Allegations of abuse and the potential for


reputational damage are part of the reason many firms


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


action by the Renewable Heat Association today


to stop the economy department publishing the details as planned


Only 4% of businesses in the scheme have


given permission for the details to be released.


For several hours, lawyers argued over


which had presidence - privacy or the public interest?


The judge reserved his findings for a week but that left


the problem of the potential publication of names tomorrow.


To address that, he issued an injunction banning the department


from issuing the names of anyone who was a member


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


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


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


It left him in an awkward position about what to


I particularly regret the injunction that has been sought and


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


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


The truth is that it's probably still


The department says it is looking at options for


maximum transparency which are consistent


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


for the Government to trigger Brexit and that the devolved


administrations do not have to be consulted.


The SDLP says the judgement "undermines the democratic


It was the biggest vote in a generation.


But while the UK voted to leave the European Union,


Northern Ireland, like Scotland, voted to remain.


We're leaving anyway, says the Prime Minister.


But some aruged that Northern Ireland, as a devolved


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


before Article 50 is triggered, and the process


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


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


The judges dismissed two legal challenges from Northern Ireland,


from political parties and the victims campaigner Raymond McCord.


They had argued that the UK could not quit the EU


without the consent of the people of Northern Ireland under


the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.


The Supreme Court ruled against the Government,


stating Parliament must be consulted before talks begin


However, they ruled the assembly here at Stormont


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


There's been a mixed reaction to the judgement.


Good result for the people of Northern Ireland.


56% of people from Northern Ireland voted to remain.


We said all along that it has to go to


We are very disappointed that the Supreme Court and the


British Government do not recognise that this Assembly and other


devolved assemblies should have the right to have a say


We believe it drives a coach and horse through the


devolution that we have fought so long for and worked


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


But it seems unlikely the vote will do anything other


than delay the legislation passing through Parliament.


The Government says it's still aiming to begin negotiations


on withdrawing from the EU by the end of March.


The police have released unconditionally two men aged 36


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


A 30-year-old man remains in custody.


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


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


An update now on story we highlighted yesterday


about a potentially life changing drug.


Three children who suffer from a severe muscle wasting


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


Their parents accused the Belfast Trust of not


Today the Health Minister blamed a breakdown in communication


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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