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Friday 24 November 2017

'I refuse to accept Colgan's apology', says accuser Dyas

Michael Colgan has apologised
Michael Colgan has apologised

Grace Dyas has said she does not accept Michael Colgan's apology following allegations of inappropriate behaviour and abuse of power against him.

In an article in yesterday's Sunday Independent, the former artistic director of the Gate Theatre said he has been shocked and deeply distressed at the impact of his behaviour, and suggested that the problem lay in the obscuring of the lines "between my work and my life".

He did not refer to any specific allegation in the article.

Ebullient

"The main purpose of this statement is to apologise to any person, in or out of the office, whom I have hurt. I would also like to apologise to any of my friends who may have been inadvertently upset due to my ebullient behaviour."

Ms Dyas was the first woman to speak out and had told RTE that Mr Colgan said to her: "You've lost so much weight, I'd almost have sex with you."

Ms Dyas, a theatre director and arts practitioner, said yesterday that she does not accept "the premise of the apology" as there are elements in it "that aren't telling the whole truth".

Following the publication of the article, Ms Dyas gave her reaction.

"I believe that he was made aware by several people in his organisation over the course of his tenure that his behaviour was inappropriate," Ms Dyas told TV3's The Sunday Show.

"I myself told him that it was inappropriate on the night in question in the Oak Bar. I said, 'Michael you can't speak to me that way'. Other people at the table also told him that what he was saying was wrong and inappropriate and an abuse of his power in the situation."

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

Mr Colgan said he failed to see and should have "respected the difference" between friends and employees. "But realising I have been responsible for causing distress to some of those with whom I worked so closely has shocked me, and I am truly sorry," he wrote.

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

Ms Dyas said that it was "interesting" that Mr Colgan used the argument of "political correctness to downplay his behaviour".

The Gate Theatre has appointed a work relations expert for an independent review of the allegations of inappropriate behaviour and abuse of power.

Mr Colgan left the Gate last March.

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