A fire that gutted a house in Ballina, Co Tipperary is being treated as suspicious by gardaí.

A Traveller family had been due to move into the house in two weeks time.

The fire at the four-bedroom house in north Tipperary started around 1.30am.

The county council had bought the house for around €460,000 and were planning to move a local Traveller family into it.

The council's decision caused controversy and led to protests and a High Court judicial review, with the court ruling the council should be allowed to house the family in the property.

The issue is also before the Supreme Court next week.

Charlie O'Reilly, his wife Noreen and eight children have been living here on the roadside for nearly 10 years - only 1km away from the house they were supposed to move into.