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11/01/2017

Other News In Brief

Call For Inquiry Into RHI Scandal 'Too Little Too Late'

Naomi Long MLA has said Arlene Foster's call for an inquiry into the RHI scandal is "too little, too late" by the former First Minister.

The Alliance Leader said Mrs Foster had the opportunity to initiate an independent inquiry under the Inquiries Act and step aside in December, but her failure to do so had directly led to the current Stormont crisis.

"This is now a matter of the former First Minister attempting to cover her embarrassment ahead of a potential election," said Mrs Long.

"However, I believe it won't wash with the public, who will see it for what it is. It is questionable whether Arlene Foster even has the power to initiate such an inquiry now. She is no longer a Minister and even if she was, it is now a cross-Departmental matter and would require Executive agreement to instigate it. The only person able to do so at this point is the Secretary of State and he continues to refuse.

"There is serious work needs to be done to save these institutions and there is less than a week in which to do that. Nothing in this current crisis is insurmountable if we have mature, responsible parties willing to put aside political posturing and get on with the business of running Northern Ireland."

Work Begins On £280,000 Road Scheme In Lisburn
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Construction work has started on a £280,000 road project in Lisburn, Northern Ireland.

the work is taking place on the Glenavy Road, between Killultagh Road and Carnhill Road, and is expected to be completed by the end of January this year.

Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard said: "This is good news for the 4,500 vehicles that use this road between Glenavy and Lisburn daily and will deliver benefits for the local community and visitors to the area for many years to come."

Diversions will be put in place and local access will be maintained.

New Deputy Secretary Appointed To Lead Reducing Offending Directorate

The Department of Justice appointed a new Deputy Secretary to lead the Reducing Offending Directorate.

Mr Ronnie Armour will take up the post at the beginning of February following a recent open recruitment competition.

Mr Armour has most recently led the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service and the appointment has been welcomed by Justice Minister Claire Sugden.

She said: "Ronnie has a wealth of experience with justice issues and this will be important in his new role as Director of Reducing Offending.

"His recent experience in the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service will be crucial as he takes on responsibility for the Prison Service and Youth Justice Agency. I wish him well in his new role."

(CD)

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