Work on RHI public inquiry has now begun

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Work on a public inquiry into the disastrous RHI scheme is now under way, it has been confirmed.

A Department of Finance spokesperson told the News Letter that the start up date of February 1 marked “the beginning of the official work of the inquiry”.

However, it clarified: “It does not mean that on that date the inquiry will be in a position to hear or consider evidence.”

The probe into the botched green energy scheme will be chaired by one of Northern Ireland’s most senior retired judges, Lord Justice of Appeal Sir Patrick Coghlin.

The department spokesperson added: “Sir Patrick Coghlin will, within the terms of reference, have control over the scope and execution of the inquiry.

“Amongst his immediate priorities, will be the procedures for conducting the inquiry.

“The inquiry will be wholly independent and will seek to work expeditiously to complete its report within a reasonable timeframe.”

A further announcement on the progress of the inquiry will be made “when the inquiry team has been established and early work has been progressed”, the spokesperson concluded.