Public Inquiry on the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme

Part of Ministerial Statement – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 4:45 pm on 24th January 2017.

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Photo of Máirtín Ó Muilleoir Máirtín Ó Muilleoir Sinn Féin 4:45 pm, 24th January 2017

If the Member is calling into question the commitment of Sir Patrick Coghlin to get to the truth, compel witnesses and compel evidence, we part company. My colleagues and I have been asking for some time for the rigorous fiosrúchán — inquiry, investigation, probe — into these matters. In fact, the interesting thing today is that the shortcomings some people highlighted are now being discussed. Putting that to the side, they are, to some degree, in the past. I think we all want to keep costs under control, but we know that is not necessarily within the remit of the Minister under the Inquiries Act. We would all like it to be time-bound, but, of course, we cannot insist on that either. I know Mr Swann said that they would not interfere only with the publication of the report, but I think even he is saying it is his view that no Finance Minister should interfere with the holding of documents, access to the inquiry and so on. I have confidence that we are at the start of a journey that will result in delivering to the public what it is hungry for, which is the truth of what happened in the RHI scheme.