Belfast Telegraph

Presenter Stephen Nolan reveals threats over RHI coverage - 'Someone may blow your brains out if you mention this again'

BBC presenter Stephen Nolan revealed the threats.
BBC presenter Stephen Nolan revealed the threats.
Gareth Cross

By Gareth Cross

BBC radio presenter Stephen Nolan has revealed that he and his staff have received threats over their coverage of the RHI scandal

Mr Nolan revealed the threats on his BBC Radio Ulster show on Wednesday morning.

The show had been discussing planned cuts to payments given to boiler owners from the RHI scheme.

Mr Nolan said that a member of the public had called the show, saying that the presenter was the man "who caused all this" and "someone may blow your f****** brains out if you mention this again".

The popular presenter said that his team had also been threatened and he wanted to "send a signal" that threats to any radio show in Northern Ireland would not be tolerated.

Mr Nolan said that his team would be passing the caller's information along to the police.

"You want to try and intimidate us? We'll go straight to the police and that's what we will be doing," he said.

"This caller has actually said that we should be shot. So hopefully the police will take that and deal with person and we'll continue to do the job that we're employed to do."

A PSNI spokesperson said that the organisation does not discuss the security of individuals but makes them aware if they receive information that their lives may be at risk.

"We never ignore anything which may put an individual at risk,” the spokesperson said.

The RHI scheme was deeply flawed.
The RHI scheme was deeply flawed.

Mr Nolan has provided extensive coverage of the RHI scandal, since the story broke in 2016.

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI ) scheme landed Stormont with an overspend bill once projected at almost £500 million.

Boilers owners have expressed their anger at the cuts, having been told that the funding was guaranteed for twenty years by then Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster.

RHI was supposed to incentivise farmers and other business owners to switch to wood pellet burning boilers by offering them a subsidy to purchase the fuel.

Catastrophic errors at government level meant subsidy levels were set higher than it actually cost to buy the pellets, so applicants were effectively able to make a profit on public money by burning boilers without limits.

Tariffs were then introduced in an attempt to stop the payments spiralling out of control.

An inquiry into the scandal, chaired by Sir Patrick Coghlin is set to be published later this year.

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