House not bought by council before fire

Wed, Feb 20, 2013, 00:00

The Donegal home at the centre of the recent controversy about Traveller accommodation was not bought by Donegal County Council.

The owner of the house did not sign the Ballyshannon property over to the council before it was gutted by fire.

The woman was due to sign the paperwork on the sale of the €210,000 house on February 11th but hours before the papers were to be signed the house, located in the Parkhill development, burned down.

The council has received legal advice that the sale had not been completed. The issue was discussed at a corporate policy meeting of the council on Monday.

Legal opinion

Members of the corporate policy committee, which includes mayor Frank McBrearty as well as councillors Ciarán Brogan, Dessie Larkin, John Campbell, Cora Harvey and Martin Harley, were told the council’s legal opinion was that the sale had not been completed.

It is understood the owner of the house, which had been allocated to a Traveller family, has been informed of the situation and is taking legal advice on the matter.

Cllr Seán McEniff found himself at the centre of the debate after he said Travellers should be isolated from the settled community.