A large DUP donor from Clogher Valley is one of the largest beneficiaries of the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, it can be revealed.
Fred Maxwell owns a farm with up to 270,000 chickens. Mr Maxwell is a well known farmer and is also a DUP donor.
Mr Maxwell spent around £1m to build a factory to convert timber into shavings for wood fire boilers.
Mr Maxwell’s farm has at least one boiler and is one of those that stands to benefit from an enormous amounts of public money from the ‘cash for ash’ scheme.
The well known farmer is known to have close relationships with senior DUP SpAds and it is believed he was advised to invest in building a factory in order to maximise his profits. This advice is believed to have come from DUP SpAds, who also have deep connections to the farming community.
Mr Maxwell approached a number of other farmers and encouraged them to ‘get onboard’ the scheme and boasted of the huge profits he would make as a result of the scheme.
This raises further questions for the DUP, as sources have questioned whether party donors were rewarded via the RHI scheme, for their financial donations. It has even been sensationally suggested that there was an agreement that some of the profits creamed from the RHI scheme would be funnelled back into the party as ‘donations’.
In a separate development it has been revealed that the old Ulster Weavers bleachworks in Bandbridge has 12 boilers in operation and is believed to have been leaving doors open to allow heat out, and maximise profits from the scheme. The building was not heated for 8 years prior to the beginning of the RHI scheme.