Friday 24 November 2017

Michael Colgan: I failed to see - and should have respected - the difference between friends and employees

Former Director of the Gate Theatre, Michael Colgan
Former Director of the Gate Theatre, Michael Colgan
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

MICHAEL COLGAN has broken his silence on allegations of inappropriate behaviour and abuse of power, apologising for his "misjudged behaviour" and for causing distress.

In an article in today's Sunday Independent, the former artistic director of the Gate Theatre says that he has been shocked and deeply distressed at the deep distress his behaviour has caused, and suggests that the problem lay in the obscuring of the lines "between my work and my life".

A number of women, including former employees of the theatre, have made claims about Colgan’s behaviour,  ranging from verbal harassment to inappropriate behaviour.

He said he failed to see and should have "respected the difference" between friends and employees.

"But realising that I have been responsible for causing distress to some of those with whom I worked so closely with has shocked me, I am truly sorry," he writes.

Theatre director and arts practitioner Grace Dyas was the first woman to speak out.

Michael Colgan
Michael Colgan

The Gate Theatre has appointed an independent adviser to investigate the allegations.

Mr Colgan had been expected to make a statement on the issue last week. He writes an article in today's Sunday Independent.

In the piece, he said his behaviour should not be equated with "sexual crimes" and he took "serious issue" with much of the recent press and social media references to him.

He said he had been the subject of gross insinuations and that his family had suffered totally false allegations that he might have been guilty of more than misjudged behavior.

He makes no mention of the appointment of Gaye Cunningham, an adjudication officer with the Workplace Relations Commission, to investigate the allegations but does apologise for any stress caused to the current board and management of the Gate.

The full article by Michael Colgan can be read in today's Sunday Independent.

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