And as a result of the coalition’s crash, the cost of RHI will keep rising…

Few enough commentators have noted it, so it falls to Sam McBride to point out that the material corollary of Sinn Fein crashing the institutions is that the cost of RHI will keep rising:

As a direct result of Sinn Fein’s move, it is now not possible for the Assembly to pass emergency legislation – which would take at least 10 days to pass through the Assembly – to curb the cost of the out of control scheme.

And an inquiry on the terms outlined by Sinn Fein also cannot be set up, because it would require primary legislation. Sinn Fein vigorously opposed holding a full public inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005.

However, to give its inquiry even basic teeth, such as the power to compel witnesses and documents, it therefore will require Assembly legislation to do so, which will be impossible prior to the formation of a new Assembly and Executive in March –if that even happens then.

Mr McGuinness’s decision actually came on the very day when Mrs Foster ended her opposition to calling a full public inquiry into the scandal.

Ho ho ho. Fun and games never end in this place.

  • Not saying that from the point the great one got himself involved we weren’t heading towards an election anyway – think Gerry Adams has trademarked the word ‘crisis’ – but the helter-skelter nto the resignation since New Year idoes start to raise the question of who is really trying to hide the most, or deflect (and from what)?

  • Nevin

    “Mr McGuinness’s decision actually came on the very day when Mrs Foster ended her opposition to calling a full public inquiry into the scandal.”

    The decision to pull the plug may have been taken by the PRM’s Army Council and the resistance to a full inquiry may have been fuelled by MSM attacks, some of it possibly driven by the scent of blood.

    The RHI debacle is a huge one but some other examples of bureaucratic bungling have attracted little MSM attention. For me, some of the best contributions on the NI Water one and related matters was based on FoI research and input from whistle-blowers.

  • Jag

    Nothing happened to cap the cost of RHI between 6th Dec 2016 when the BBC broadcast its Spotlight programme and 8th Jan 2017, 33 days costing us £55k a day (365*£55=£20m * 20 years = £400m) and there was no sign of any solid proposals and Arlene was refusing to stand aside to avoid a compromised inquiry, instead spouting crap about misogyny, chickens and love glasses. That can’t stand.

    An election will happen, SF isn’t playing chicken.

  • Nevin

    Chicken and mushroom soup? Even boilers can go up in smoke.

    Fire crews from Enniskillen, Irvinestown and Lisnaskea fought the large fire for almost six hours in the early hours of last Friday.

    Is today’s report in the Irish News the first MSM coverage of last Friday’s major fire?

  • Anthony O’Shea

    It could read this way, if i may …

    “As a direct result of Arlene Fosters refusal to step aside, it is now not possible…….etc. etc. ”

    So really it depends from which side of the fence one is looking.

    The DUP started off looking for a full publuc enquiry, then they agreed to an independent enquiry and NOW Arlene is back looking for a full public enquiry after she has just been sacked. !!

    Ho ho ho is right !!

  • Anthony O’Shea

    That line ‘its all Jarrys fault’ has been tried and well debunked over the last few days

  • Donagh

    Your frantic attempts to hook Sinn Fein into this shambles in admirable Mick, are you on the payroll?

  • hotdogx

    Meanwhile sheds in co Fermanagh of all places fitted with biomass boilers seem to be catching fire all by themselves!!!!
    One shed with 8 boilers and tonnes of wood pellets, A friend of yours Arlene perhaps?

  • file

    Can anyone do an actual timeline of this to let me know if there is any truth – or just the usual News Letter truth – in the line from the article:

    “Mr McGuinness’s decision actually came on the very day when Mrs Foster ended her opposition to calling a full public inquiry into the scandal.”
    I thought her opposition to a full public inquiry came AFTER she was booted out of her role as First Minister, not before. Cause and effect, not coincidence.

  • nilehenri

    the dup financers will be happy and warm for a wee while longer then.
    sf played an absolute blinder oin this one. it is everybody against the dup. hardened unionists are wishing marty well over on twitter, and the anger in the loyalist community is palpable.
    the uup/sdlp opposition rules out any serious campaigning against each other, and mike cannot risk getting into bed with the dup, previous pacts were intrinsically damaging to the uup, and i can’t see mike going down that path again, as his party only gains from the current situation.
    add the brex5hit shambles into the whole equation, infighting in the dup, the farmers up in arms and we have the recipe for an explosive election. .
    the paisley/robinson legacy is in ruins. any normal party would have dumped arlene weeks ago, but this being the dup, well, you know. they should order in plenty of salt and pepper, because they are going to be eating little more than their own pride for a while.
    seems my dead cat comment from eight months ago was an atrocious understatement mick 😉


    I am surprised it is taking so long to put the blame on Sinn Fein and especially on Adams.Certain sections of the media in the South will not be
    lacking, no doubt with sniping support from Fine Gael and Fianna Fail.
    Fun times over the next few months.

  • woodkerne

    The bare-faced-cheekery of Arlene is to be expected. And those who routinely seek to blame SF for original sin will doubless also cast the story of principal villainy that way around.

  • Ciaran Caughey

    The Scotsman
    Foster should take responsibility and go

  • Daragh

    Was it Simon Hamilton’s own University Lecturer who said he was ‘living in cloud cuckoo land if he thought he could reduce the cost to zero’, which is what Hamilton had originally claimed. The finance minister has said he is still to see the plan despite being promised it on Monday and that what was discussed with him is merely a sticking plaster – reading between the lines, it will probably just legislate to close the fraudulent claims. The above article’s focus is that Sinn Fein crashed the institutions, rather than challenging the DUPs outlandish claims which is quite obviously merely optics for electioneering purposes. We can only speculate as to why this has been omitted, and a place on the payroll would certainly explain it.

  • Madra Uisce

    One can always trust Slugger to sling the proverbial dead cat onto the table.

  • Neonlights

    I’m not convinced that any legislation can be passed. More circumspect might be an augmentation of inspections by the department. There is no reason that the Secretary of State can not request this in the absence of the Parochial Assembly.

  • Madra Uisce

    Thanks Nevin, A 20mx12m shed containing eight boilers ,what the hell were they heating?

  • Jams O’Donnell

    Yes, exactly. Why would MMG go ahead if AF had already conceded the point?


    The reason the cost will keep rising at the very least is due to an
    incompetent minster who put the deal in place,in the first place,she, her party and her flag wavers aare working harf to spread the blame. Time will
    tell if it works.

  • Concubhar O Liathain

    You really have to ask Arlene the question – she’s now looking for an inquiry because, she adds helpfully, she’s no longer first minister (as a result of a SF action). If she had stepped aside for four weeks as all parties (not just SF) had asked her previously to allow an independent judge led inquiry before Monday, she would not be facing the probability, and neither would the people of Northern Ireland be facing, a ‘brutal’ and costly election. So why did she not step aside as asked and not save us all this trouble and, now, this additional cost of the RHI (a bit late to be worried now)? As with fires, so with political controversies, sometimes they take on a life of their own, beyond the initial cause. It’s the nature of the beast.

  • ted hagan

    Well Sinn Fein, in government, did know about the problems with RHI early last year and, has been repeatedly said, it was only when the media exposed the enormity of it that Sinn Fein chose to act. Of course Foster and the DUP are the culprits in this scandal but surely SF could have ensured some sort of tidying-up process was enacted before they abandoned ship?

  • Mark Anderson

    Assuming this was in reference to the article in the Telegraph on Monday (same day as resignation)

  • Anthony O’Shea

    Whats that?

  • AntrimGael

    Front page story in today’s Irish News. A barn full of these boilers in Fermanagh seems to have been on the end of an unfortunate accident.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    Oh dear !

  • Granni Trixie

    Can you tell me what GA has to do with NI? Is he trying it on?

  • Granni Trixie

    Gerry poking his nose in is not at all helpful. Takes focus off DUP in trouble. Are there no SF reps with ability to take charge in NI?

  • Nevin

    The Impartial Reporter reported this massive fire on Friday, including the wood fuel, and the Irish News sought a response from the property owner on Monday and Tuesday. I can find no mention of the fire on the BBC NI News site yet the theft of tools in Lisburn does rate a mention.

  • Skibo

    Mick two points
    The DUP have for six months promised the Finance Minister that they were coming up with a solution to the overspend in the RHI. He is still waiting. SH produced a temporary solution, issued it to MOM on Monday and ten minutes later removed it. A sticking plaster was what MOM called it.
    As for AF agreeing to a public inquiry, did that not happen after she realised MMcG was to resign? Did she offer to stand aside during the investigation? I don’t think so!

  • Skibo

    She didn’t agree to step aside. That issue still stands and it was not just SF that had asked her to do so. Other than the Justice Minister, it was across the board.


    Strange that no journalists is interested to find out if they were
    woriking boilers or what started the fire,are the boilers safe etc.

  • hotdogx
  • hotdogx

    Arlenes crown broach

  • mooncoin

    A Shed 20 metres by 12 metres equals 240 square metres , 240 square metres divided by eight boilers equals 30 square metres is 6metres long by 5metres wide . That is a hell of a lot of heat being generated in one small shed . Now , given the fall out from RHI , and the location of this fire , wouldn’t you think there would be a lot of media interest around this particular incident ? . I cannot help thinking that if the Shinners were in the same predicament as the DUP the media would be all over this incident . Yes John it’s very strange