MICHAEL COLGAN SAYS his behaviour should not be equated with sexual crimes.
Over the past few weeks, a number of women have come forward with allegations of inappropriate behaviour and abuse of power by the former director of the Gate Theatre.
Today he broke his silence on those allegations in an article in the Sunday Independent.
Colgan said “the seed of the problem lay in the obscuring of lines between my work and my life” and that he failed to respect the difference between friends and employees.
“I already knew that I was not politically correct, that I often sacrificed proper conduct for a punchline, and that, at times, could be too exacting as a boss.
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.
Colgan added that when he left the Gate Theatre in March he believed he was liked by all the staff and the realisation that this was not always the case “has been deeply distressing”.
“I sincerely apologise to anyone who was ever made to feel upset.”
However, Colgan said his behaviour “should not be equated to sexual crimes” and that he takes “serious issue with much of the recent press and social media references to me”.
“We are living in a climate where ti be accused is now enough to be deemed guilty.”
The Gate Theatre has appointed an independent expert to look at allegations of “inappropriate behaviour” and “abuse of power” by the former director.
Gaye Cunningham, an adjudication officer with the Workplace Relations Commission, will conduct an independent review of the allegations made against Colgan. She is due to report back to the Board of the Gate in January.
Anyone wishing to come forward with concerns can contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
However, a number of women who made allegations about Colgan have questioned the independence of an investigation that is funded and administered by the Gate.
Grace Dyas was the first person to speak out against Colgan. In an interview yesterday she said, “If the same situation (as mine) occurred again, they have nowhere to go to highlight the problem because the same board is still in place that was there during Michael’s tenure.”