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An estate agent's photograph of the five-bedroom house in Ballyshannon, which was destroyed by a fire yesterday.

Council's €230k social housing property destroyed in fire

The house in Ballyshannon had recently been purchased by the county council, intended for use by a Traveller family.

A HOUSE recently bought by Donegal County Council for €230,000, which had been set for use as social housing, has been destroyed in a fire.

The five-bedroom house at Parkhill in Ballyshannon – which was unoccupied for the time being – was gutted by the fire which broke out just before 3am on Monday morning.

The council’s purchase of the house had caused controversy after claims that its purchase was in contravention of the county’s development plan – and attracted further controversy when a council member decried the plan to allocate the house to a Traveller family.

Fianna Fáil councillor Seán McEniff had told a local radio station that he did not support the housing of a Traveller family in an area otherwise populated by settlers, and advocated creating “an isolated community of them some place”.

“You wouldn’t want it beside you nor I wouldn’t want it beside me,” he told Ocean FM last month, adding that it would be “par for the course” that the property would ultimately be “wrecked”.

McEniff yesterday told the Donegal Democrat, however, that he condemned the blaze, which is being treated as suspicious.

The scene of the fire is being preserved and no arrests have yet been made.

Read: FF councillor criticised for anti-Traveller comments

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