The Mayor of Bundoran, Sinn Féin Cllr. Mick McMahon has said the fire at a derelict house in the town in the early hours of Monday morning was “unacceptable” and “posed a real risk to the public”.
The Town Council will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, September 20 to discuss the issue of how best to deal with vacant and derelict properties in the town. Irrespective of what will be decided at that meeting, the Mayor had harsh words for those who committed this arson.
“The culprits involved are small in number and I understand that the gardai are following a definite line of enquiry. It is my sincere hope that they will be brought to justice as soon as possible.
“This kind of thing is totally unacceptable. These people cannot be allowed to intimidate the good people of Bundoran, who have worked so hard to make the town such an attractive and family-friendly place to come to.
“Bundoran does not need this kind of anti-social behaviour which poses a real danger to the public.”
Cllr. McMahon said that the owners of the building were onsite yesterday, replacing broken glass and effecting some repairs to the building.
Meanwhile, his Sinn Féin colleague, Cllr. Sean Carty branded the fire an attack on the local community.
“This is an attack on the good people of Bundoran and will not be tolerated,” Cllr. Carty told the Donegal Democrat yesterday.
He added: “I call on every one in the community to stand together against the criminals who are responsible for this.
“The derelict buildings in Bundoran are being used by groups of people as shelters for drinking amd messing about.
“Whether this fire was started intentionally or not is immaterial.
“It is extremely fortunate that this fire did not spread to adjoining buildings or further or worse still that no one was injured or even killed.”
He called on Bundoran Town Council to “urgently take this situation in hand and to do something constructive with the derelict building situation that exists in the town”.
Cllr. Carty noted that this is the second derelict building in the town to have been burned down in the last few years. While he’s thankful the only casualties in both cases were financial, he’s concerned that there is “another massive unsafe eyesore left behind on the Main Street.”
He cautioned: “If this kind of thing is allowed to happen again we might not be so lucky.
“This council undertook on several occasions in the past to deal with this situation but so far have done nothing but pay lip service to the issue!
“I also call on the residents of the town to become and remain vigilant and to report any activty around derelict buildings in the town or indeed any other anti-social behaviour.
“We need to stand together as a community and not allow those kind of attacks on our community to take place.”