Tuesday 20 August 2019

Gate Theatre announces independent probe into allegations of sexual harassment

Former Director of the Gate Theatre, Michael Colgan
Former Director of the Gate Theatre, Michael Colgan

Kirsty Blake-Knox

The board of the Gate Theatre have said they are taking “extremely seriously” the allegations of inappropriate behaviour and “abuse of power” levied at its former artistic director Michael Colgan.

A number of women, including former employees of the theatre, have made claims about Colgan’s behaviour.

In a statement issued today the gate Board said; “We take extremely seriously the allegations and reports which have emerged over past weeks in relation to inappropriate behaviour and abuse of power by the former Director of The Gate Theatre, Michael Colgan.

“It is essential to the Gate's culture, and its future, that anyone who works for it, or has any dealings with it, is treated with respect and is not subjected to harassment, bullying or discrimination of any type”.

Gate Theatre
Gate Theatre

“We have listened to the views of the people who have come forward in recent days, as well as various other stakeholders, and taken on board the concerns and feedback expressed.”

Read More: Allegations must be taken seriously, but we can't assume they're true - Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

Last week the theatre announced that they would be appointing an external HR advisor to look into complaints.

Today they announced that Gaye Cunningham, a Rights Commissioner since 2008, will have responsibility in conducting “an independent review of the matter and deal, in a confidential and transparent manner, with any complaints forthcoming.”

Cunningham will report back to the gate Board in January 2018.

A copy of the expert’s final report will be provided simultaneously for information to our key stakeholder, the Arts Council.

The board added that they are “fully committed to taking the necessary steps to deal professionally and compassionately with the issues arising.”

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