Ireland’s artistic reputation risks being ‘severely damaged’ by recent allegations according to Fianna Fáil’s spokeswoman on Arts Niamh Smyth. This follows allegations of unacceptable behaviour towards female staff members at the Gate Theatre in Dublin and claims from a number of people in recent days about sexual harassment and abuse of power within the industry in Ireland.
Niamh Smyth said that all allegations needed to be investigated, and the women who made them should be supported and offered counselling and advice. She said there had to be a zero tolerance approach to bullying and sexual harassment of any kind.
The Gate Theatre has set up a confidential process for employees and contractors to raise any concerns they may have. They have been asked to contact The Gate through an email address – [email protected].
The board and management of the theatre said it intends to “appoint an independent professional HR advisor to handle any issues raised” through that process.
Arts Minister Heather Humphreys is due to meet with the Arts Council in the coming days in light of the allegations. The minister is due to raise a number of issues surrounding bullying.
Ms Humphreys called on victims of sexual harassment to come forward, at the Gate and in all industries.