House bought for Traveller family badly damaged by fire

Gardaí are treating as suspicious a fire at a building bought to house a Traveller family in Ballyshannon, Co Donegal.

There was much controversy following the decision Donegal County Council's recent decision to purchase the house, at a cost of more than €230,000, to provide social housing for Travellers.

The fire brigade was called to the blaze at a detached dormer bungalow in Parkhill shortly after 3am. The house was unoccupied at the time.

Extensive damage was caused to the building. The scene has been preserved for a technical examination.

Traveller support group Pavee Point said that if the incident is arson, it is disgusted and disappointed to learn of the development.

"Pavee Point has called on the gardaí to protect Traveller families in Donegal, after this, the third such incident in recent years," the group stated.

It has also called on Donegal County Council to urgently identify a suitable alternative house for the Traveller family.

Pavee Point also said that politicians should be more responsible in public comment they give in relation to Travellers.

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