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Report shows 'toxic' culture of bullying at National Museum of Ireland

A new report seen by RTÉ, highlights ‘bullying’ and ‘harassment’ at the National Museum.

Over 40% of staff are at risk of developing anxiety or depression, according to an unpublished report.
Over 40% of staff are at risk of developing anxiety or depression, according to an unpublished report.
Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

THERE ARE SOME serious problems with the work culture at the National Museum of Ireland, according to an employee wellbeing report and a psychotherapist who worked with the institution.

One in five National Museum employees said they are “often” or “always” subjected to bullying. Another 20% are “sometimes” the victims of bullying, while one employee complained of having to deal with “bullies and perverts”.

The findings are contained in a Work Positive Profile Management Report obtained by RTÉ.

Stephanie Regan, a psychologist who worked with the institution between 2008 and 2012, told RTÉ Drivetime the atmosphere remains “toxic” at the museum.

“Over time I heard a number of stories that were very disturbing, and they were that people had made complaints and those complaints were taken off the file,” she claimed.

I am over 25 years doing this work. I never heard the story being so consistent and coming from individuals not in the same room.
The toxic nature of what was presented; that is what is so awful… relentless and systematic.

Regan claims her concerns around workplace bullying were ignored by museum management and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Affairs.

90432488_90432488 Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

96 staff completed the survey. Four in five had been working for the institution for five years or more. There are between 140 and 150 staff at the institution.

The National Museum of Ireland operates four sites – The Archaeology museum on Kildare Street, (where the Seanad is to move), the Natural History Museum on Merrion Street; the Museum of Decorative Arts and History in Collins Barracks; and the Museum of Country Life in Castlebar.

Response

The Chair of the Oireachtas Arts and Heritage Committee Peadar Tóibín is demanding representatives from the National Museum, the Department of the Arts and the Minister Heather Humphreys urgently come before his committee to address what he claims is a “HR crisis”.

In a statement, the museum said it had taken a range of actions since the health and well-being report.

“These include the setting up of a museum council, a staff consultation forum and improvements in communications between staff and management”.

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht said Minister Humphreys has no involvement in the day-to-day running of the National Museum of Ireland.

Read: Leinster House restaurant could have been a temporary home for the Seanad

Read: Seanad to temporarily relocate to National Museum despite objections

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