National Women's Council pushing for independent investigation into Michael Colgan allegations

The National Women's Council is calling for an independent investigation into the conduct and behaviour of Michael Colgan while CEO of the Gate Theatre.

Seven women have detailed their experiences of what they say is the abuse of power by Mr Colgan.

The Chair of the National Campaign for the Arts, Jo Mangan, says she believes the trust with the Gate Theatre is broken.

Ms Mangan says Mr Colgan had a reputation that he was difficult to work with for a long time.

Seven women have come forward to outline their experiences of working with Mr Colgan, starting with Grace Dyas who said he made "inappropriate comments of a sexual nature" to her.

Michael Colgan.

Ms Mangan worked extensively with the Waking the Feminists Movement, which called out the sector for its lack of gender equality in terms of directors, playwrights and other staff.

Asked about why allegations of sexual harassment did not come out then, she said it took extreme bravery to put their heads above the parapet.

However, the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has rejected calls for an independent investigation of the Gate Theatre.

Mr Varadkar said: "It is a private body, it's not a public body. It has its own board, its own trustees.

"So, obviously in the first instance, it's a matter for the company itself to put in place its own procedures to investigate these allegations properly."

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