Renewable/Other Energy

Retired senior judge will chair public inquiry into botched green energy

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuiness stepped down from his role over an energy scheme scandal

One of Northern Ireland’s most senior retired judges will chair a public inquiry into a botched green energy scheme.

Lord Justice of Appeal Sir Patrick Coghlin will be unflinching in his pursuit of the truth and scrupulous in his analysis of the evidence, Stormont’s finance minister said. He begins work on February 1.

A judge on Tuesday issued an interim injunction preventing the publication of hundreds of names of Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) claimants.

Finance minister Mairtin O Muilleoir said: “By getting to the truth of the RHI scandal, this inquiry team, led by the distinguished Sir Patrick Coghlin, will I believe address those wider issues and therefore go some way to rebuilding the shattered public confidence in the institutions.”

Sir Patrick’s legal career stretches back to the 1970s. He retired in 2015.

The RHI is predicted to cost taxpayers up to £490 million over the next 20 years.

It precipitated the collapse of Stormont powersharing.

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