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Gate Theatre appoints independent expert to examine Michael Colgan allegations

The theatre said it is taking the allegations “extremely seriously”.

A number of women have made allegations against Michael Colgan.
A number of women have made allegations against Michael Colgan.
Image: Rollingnews.ie

THE GATE THEATRE has said that it has appointed an independent expert to look at allegations of “inappropriate behaviour” and “abuse of power” by its former director Michael Colgan.

Over the past few weeks, a number of women have come forward with allegations about Colgan, spanning several decades.

In a statement today, the theatre said that it was taking these allegations “extremely seriously”.

It said it had listened to the views of various stakeholders in recent days and taken on board some of the concerns raised.

As a result, it has closed down the email address it had set up for women to anonymously tell their stories at confidential@gate-theatre.ie.

The person appointed to look at these allegations by the Gate is Gaye Cunninngham.

Cunningham is an adjudication officer with the Workplace Relations Commission and spent 34 years at the ESB in senior HR positions.

Her job here will be to conduct an independent review of the allegations made against Colgan.

The Gate Theatre said: “The independent expert will commence her work immediately and will report back to the Board of the Gate in January 2018. A copy of the expert’s final report will be provided simultaneously for information to our key stakeholder, the Arts Council.”

It said that her expertise will ensure the Gate can address “failings of the past” and make the appropriate recommendations to ensure the theatre becomes a place “where artistic endeavour can flourish in a safe environment”.

Cunningham will be making contact with any current or former staff members who have spoken on the record.

Anyone else wishing to come forward with concerns can contact her directly at cunninghamconfidential@outlook.ie.

The Gate added that it is fully committed to taking the necessary steps to deal “professionally and compassionately” with the issues that arise.

Read: Workshops on sexual harassment and bullying to be held for Irish arts groups

Read: Calls for Gate theatre chairman to stand before Oireachtas Committee following Colgan assault allegations

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Sean Murray

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