27th March: available here from 8.00pm
Journalist and political editor Sam McBride joins blogger Alan Meban for a candid conversation about his incendiary bestselling book, BURNED: The Inside Story of the ‘Cash-for-Ash’ Scandal and Northern Ireland’s Secretive New Elite.
This is the true story behind one of most shocking scandals in Northern Irish political history. Sam will discuss the challenges of getting this important book published, the ongoing drama of the RHI Inquiry, and what, in light of those behaviours exposed in Burned, the future might hold for governance in Northern Ireland.
When the News Letter’s Political Editor sat down to chronicle his meticulous research into the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, little did he know that his book would become a publishing sensation and one of Northern Ireland’s bestselling titles in years. In Burned, Sam McBride tapped into a deep seam of public anger, and was himself on the receiving end of some more from the powers that be.
One of the most shocking scandals in Northern Irish political history, originally a green-energy initiative, the ‘cash-for-ash’ scheme saw Northern Ireland’s government pay £1.60 for every £1 of fuel the public burned in their wood-pellet boilers, leading to widespread abuse and ultimately the collapse of the power-sharing administration at Stormont.
In conversation with blogger Alan Meban, Sam McBride looks back on a defining year of his career and what the exposure of those shadowy practices he uncovered will likely mean for the future of government in Northern Ireland.
‘This triumph of investigative journalism from one of the UK’s most important reporters spares nobody.’ Patrick Maguire, New Statesman
‘One of the most important books on Northern Ireland politics since the Good Friday Agreement; and certainly, the most important on the Assembly and the function – and dysfunction – of devolution. Disturbingly revelatory.’ Alex Kane