The newly appointed CEO of the Donegal Vocational Educational Committee has said there are many raw emotions and feelings in Finn Valley College and the community in the Twin Towns and beyond following the death by suicide eight days ago of 13 year old Erin Gallagher.
In a statement, Shaun Purcell says the VEC acknowledges that in the circumstances, emotions are very raw and everyone will be looking for answers, but urges the media to give the school and the community space to work through what is a very challenging time.
Mr Purcell says that understandably, the media has been very proactive in exploring local concerns and issues of a wider context that have been sparked by these events.
He says the committee wishes to state that the safety and welfare of its students are at the core of its policies and procedures, and over the past week, members and officials have discussed the issues surrounding the events leading up to the untimely death of Erin Gallagher.
He says County Donegal VEC wishes to confirm that the Management and Staff of Finn Valley College acted at all times with regard to the welfare of the students, and acknowledges the care with which the Staff and co-operating agencies carried out their duties following this tragic event.
He asks that the school and the community to be allowed time to grieve and readjust to every day routine, and the VEC appeals to the media for space to enable the appropriate agencies and personnel to provide support, with due regard to the safety and welfare of all.
The statement concludes that Finn Valley College will continue to provide high quality education in a caring and positive environment.