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Michael Colgan apologises for `misjudged behaviour' while Gate artistic director

Michael Colgan was artistic director at the Gate Theatre in Dublin

THE former artistic director of Dublin's Gate Theatre has apologised for his "misjudged behaviour" and said he was "shocked" by the distress he has caused following allegations of inappropriate behaviour and abuse of power.

Seven women, including former employees of the theatre, have made claims about Michael Colgan's behaviour, from verbal harassment to inappropriate behaviour.

Theatre director Grace Dyas was the first woman to speak out and the Gate Theatre has appointed an independent adviser to investigate the allegations.

Writing in the Sunday Independent, Mr Colgan said he had believed he had been a "good boss" and "liked by all the staff " when he left last March after 33 years at the theatre.

He said the revelations had "made it clear that this cannot have always been the case" and suggested the root of the problem "lay in the obscuring of the lines between my work and my life".

"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 a boss".

Mr Colgan said he failed to see and should have "respected the difference" between friends and employees.

He said he was shocked after being confronted by the distress caused and is "truly sorry" - also apologising to friends who my have been "inadvertently upset due to my ebullient behaviour".

However, he said that his behaviour "should not be equated with sexual crimes" and he takes "serious issue with much of the recent press and social media references to me".

"It is wrong that I have been the subject of gross insinuations and that my family have had to suffer totally false suggestions that i might be guilty of more than misjudged behaviour".

He went on to apologise to the board and management of the Gate "for any stress caused".

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