Molloya College, in south Belfast, is a Catholic college which has been at the centre of the controversy following the recent death of a young woman at its gates.
The tragedy happened on Saturday at 10:45pm when a young man was found dead at the gates of Mollooy College.
The College’s secretary, Dr Alan Whelan, said it is a community college where there are over 20 students, about 1,000 of whom are aged between 16 and 20 years old.
“We are just heartbroken at this moment, we are very saddened to hear of the death of this young woman,” he said.
He said the death has caused a huge amount of concern among students and staff.
“As you know, we have a very large number of students who come to the College to study and we are committed to providing a safe and caring environment for them,” he added.
“But this has been particularly devastating for students who have come from all over the world.”
There are two main reasons for this, one is that this tragedy has impacted our own community.
It has affected our students, and we have seen many students from all walks of life and all different ethnicities coming to the campus.
“He added that the College has taken steps to ensure that the safety of students and their families is a top priority.”
At this moment we are in touch with the local community to provide support and reassurance,” he explained.
Dr Whelans remarks were echoed by a statement from the Molloir College, which is in south west Belfast.”
The tragic events of this evening have been deeply upsetting for all Molloiocans.
We are all saddened and saddened by the loss of this beautiful young lady and our thoughts are with her family at this time,” the statement read.”
Our thoughts are also with the entire Mollorooh community and we wish the family of the deceased a speedy and full recovery.
“As we have said in the past, we respect and understand the grief that has been felt by many of our students.”
It is understood that Molloaough College is one of the many community colleges that has recently received an increase in applications.
According to a spokesperson for the College, there has been a large number that have had to close due to the recent crisis.
“It is not unusual for an application to be delayed, particularly in the period immediately following the death or illness of a member of the community.
This situation has also been compounded by a severe shortage of staff and equipment at the College,” they said.
They also said that there is no immediate plan to close Molloh College.
However, they have since been asked to close the campus and are continuing to liaise with the Department of Social Protection (DSP) to ensure safety and security.
However they have also advised students to be on the lookout for “the possibility of further closures”.
“There is no suggestion of any particular time limit on the possibility of additional closures, however we ask students to keep their minds open,” they added.
In September, the College received an influx of applications from young people from all across the country.
“People are coming to Molloho because they have experienced an awful tragedy.
They are seeking to escape a community that is experiencing the same tragedy that they have,” said Dr Whela, of MLL.
He added: “We are very concerned about the impact on our campus.
We have a number of young people that are here to study.
We need to ensure our staff is up to the task of supporting them.”
The College is due to be in session on Wednesday.
Dr Allan Walsh, who has been teaching at the campus for over 40 years, said that he is “devastated” by the news.
“This is just a terrible tragedy.
It’s a tragedy for our community, and our campus, and it’s a loss of a wonderful person who is a lovely young woman, who is so well respected and so bright.
I am very saddened.
It just saddens me,” he told TheJournal.ie.