05/09/2019

Other News In Brief

Police Make Arrest Over 2007 Murder

A 57-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering Michael Gerard Hampson.

Mr Hampson's body was discovered on the shore of Lough Neagh near Toomebridge on January 09 2008, one month after the L'Derry man was reported missing.

A post-mortem examination found that he died in suspicious circumstances.

The suspect remains in custody at this time.

SDLP Demands Transparency Over No Deal Plans

The culture of secrecy that has infected no-deal preparations must be broken, an SDLP MLA has said.

Mark H Durkan urged the Belfast Trust to allow the public to scrutinise the plans and "judge the future we're facing for themselves". He said there is no discernible public interest argument in hiding the truth from people

It comes after health bosses refused to reveal what plans are in place to mitigate the effects of a no-deal Brexit, saying to do so would cause "alarm" amongst the public.

The Foyle MLA said: "Refusing to disclose this information will only cause further undue alarm.

"The Trust is right to make preparations to secure patient and public safety in the event of a no-deal Brexit. They cannot, however, determine that these efforts are to be made in secret and that people should be kept in the dark about what we can expect to happen from 1st November. The culture of secrecy that has pervaded these preparations must be broken."

NI Meets Renewable Energy Target Ahead Of Schedule

Northern Ireland has met its target for 40% of electricity consumption from renewables sources by 2020 ahead of schedule.
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The statistical report 'Electricity Consumption and Renewable Generation in Northern Ireland: Year Ending June 2019', published by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA), confirms that 44% of all electricity consumed for the 12 month period ending 30 June 2019 was generated from renewables.

Commenting on the report Department for the Economy Permanent Secretary Noel Lavery said: "This is a momentous achievement which has been accomplished by the collective efforts of a number of key stakeholders over a sustained period, and I am grateful for the considerable contribution of all the players in the renewable electricity industry, the investors and operators small and large, SONI, NIE Networks, Invest NI, the Utility Regulator and Ofgem.

"The Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation (NIRO) has been the main policy driver to encourage increased levels of renewable generation, delivering an increase in the proportion of renewable electricity consumption from around 3% when it was introduced in April 2005, to over 40% in 2019.

"The success of the NIRO means that we now have a diverse energy mix which has strengthened our security of supply, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, lowered prices within the Single Electricity Market and delivered economic benefits including inward investment and jobs creation."

Looking to the future, Mr Lavery stated: "We recognise that achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 will require us to move significantly beyond 40%, and this is something that is being considered as part of the development of a new Energy Strategy for Northern Ireland."



(JG/MH)

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