Old Swilly Hotel in Buncrana gutted in overnight fire

The former Lough Swilly Hotel on the Shore Front in Buncrana has been gutted in an overnight fire.

The hotel, which was originally built in the 19th century, closed in the 1970s, operated for a time as a music venue, and was then taken over by Flanagans of Buncrana for use as a warehouse and furniture showroom.

In recent years, plans for a residential development at the site were approved after an earlier decision by Buncrana Town Council was appealed to An Bord Pleanala.

Fire crews remain at the scene this morning, with part of the road closed and diversions in place.  The Swilly Ferry service will not be running until the road has been cleared.

In a statement to Highland Radio News, gardai have  confirmed they are investigating the circumstances surrounding the fire, and the scene has been preserved for a technical examination.

Local Councillor and former Mayor of Buncrana Michael Grant was at the scene  this morning. He says it was a sad end for an iconic building....

[podcast] http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/grant830.mp3[/podcast]