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Foster’s clear conflict of interest – Adams

8 January, 2017 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD is in Limerick today to speak at the 60th anniversary commemoration of the death of Limerick republican and IRA Volunteer Seán Sabhat who was killed with Volunteer Feargal Ó hAnnluain in an attack in the North in 1957

Addressing the deepening crisis in the political institutions in the North, the Sinn Féin leader is expected to say:

“There is a worsening crisis in the political institutions surrounding the Renewable Heat Incentive and serious allegations of corruption, fraud, and incompetence associated with the scheme. Arlene Foster insists she will not step aside. This is unacceptable.

“The DUP leader has a clear conflict of interest. She was the Minister responsible for the RHI scheme from its inception. Mrs Foster also oversaw its operation for almost three years as Minister for Enterprise, Trade, and Investment.

“She approved the RHI scheme without cost controls and took the decision to strip these controls out of the scheme.

“Her Department had been warned a year before the scheme was set up by energy companies and by the Ulster Farmers Union that there was a need for cost controls and caps on payments.

“These warnings were ignored, as were a series of warnings from whistle blowers and others about the operation of the scheme and the potential for abuse, corruption, and fraud.

“The failure to act on these warnings and the stripping out of cost controls has led to the largest potential loss to the taxpayer of any government scheme in the history of the northern state.

“There have also been allegations from a former DUP minister that DUP Special Advisers delayed the ending of the scheme, when there was a spike in applications which almost doubled the cost of the RHI scandal.  

“So, Sinn Féin’s demand for Arlene Foster to step aside without prejudice pending a preliminary report from an independent investigation into the RHI scandal is a reasonable request.” 

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