Co Antrim brothers amongst highest RHI claimants
TWO young Co Antrim brothers have emerged as among the biggest claimants of the botched RHI scheme.
Josh and Joel Mulholland, from Ballymena, are directors of two companies named on a list published by the Department for the Economy last week.
Josh (27) is the sole director of Valley Services (NI) Ltd, which up to this month had been paid £305,629.59 for six biomass boilers.
Younger brother Joel (25), meanwhile, is the head of Heatabrix Ltd which has received £239,050.17 for six separate boilers.
Both companies registered for the scheme on the same day on October 26 2015.
Between September, October and November 2015 there were a total of 984 non-domestic applications, just before a cap was put on the lucrative payments. The figure was almost as high as the previous 34 months combined.
When The Irish News contacted Josh Mulholland he would not speak about the nature of his or his brother's RHI application.
However, he said they had not abused the scheme.
Payments to the two firms total more than £540,000, second only to Co Tyrone poultry firm Paul Hobson Ltd in terms of the highest RHI payments received.
Valley Services (NI) Limited is an active company and has a registered office address in Pennybridge Industrial Estate in Ballymena.
The nature of the business is described as 'management consultancy activities other than financial management'.
The company director is Josh Mulholland, who is from Ballymena but lives in Enniskillen.
He is also director of scrap merchants FM Metals, which has an office address in Ballymena but operates at Lackaghboy Road in Enniskillen.
Joel Mulholland has been the company director at Heatabrix since November 2014, with the business office listed up to January 26 this year as Lackaghboy Road in Enniskillen.
It was then changed to the same address as Valley Services in Ballymena.
The nature of the business is described at Companies House as 'other professional, scientific and technical activities not elsewhere classified'.
Mr Mulholland could not be reached for comment.
The Irish News has visited the Lackaghboy Road site and seen active biomass boilers in a shed, but it is unclear which business the boilers belong to.
In January Josh Mulholland said the boilers on the Enniskillen site were used to heat a shed and dry woodchips for an "industrial process" and had replaced an oil-fired system.
There is no suggestion of wrongdoing in relation to any of the companies named on the list last week.
The Renewable Heat Association of Northern Ireland, which represents some of the firms, has said claimants entered the scheme legitimately and it was designed and promoted by the Stormont government.