The 230,000 euro at the centre of a row over the housing of members of the Travelling Community near Ballyshannon has been destroyed by fire over night.
A criminal investigation into the cause of the blaze is now underway with gardaí treating the blaze as “suspicious”.
The scene of the blaze has been preserved pending a technical examination. Members of the Garda Scenes of Crime team are due to arrive at the scene.
The Donegal Democrat has learned that the house has been damaged so severely that there is a safety issue with access to the remains of the house. “The roof has come in and the gable walls at both ends are in a precarious state, it’s not safe and will have to be made safe to allow examination,” a source said.
The fire at the detached dormer house at Parkhill, Ballyshannon was reported to the fire service at 3.06 am and units from Ballyshannon arrived at 3.18 am with units from Bundoran arriving three minutes later. The fire had already gone through the roof of the building when the fire service arrived.
Donegal acting chief fire officer Joseph McTaggart said fire service personnel were unable to conduct a search of the house because of the nature of the fire but they established that there were no occupants.