Barbarian At The Gate

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From top: UCD lecturer Annette Clancy; writer and director Grace Dyas; former director of the Gate Theatre Michael Colgan

On Wednesday, October 18, 2017, UCD lecturer Annette Clancy wrote the following about the former director of the Gate Theatre Michael Colgan on Facebook:

In the early 90s I was asked to apply for the manager position at Dublin Theatre Festival. I had been working there as the programme administrator and the then director offered me the post of manager. He later told me I’d have to ‘interview’ for the role….So I did…

Around that time also I had trained as a holistic massage therapist (I can’t write that down without thinking that I have to justify it in some way as if it’s somewhat seedy)…..

So I do the interview and Michael Colgan is on the panel. When it comes to his turn to ask me a question he draws attention to my qualification as a massage therapist and says ‘well I wish you would give me a massage someday’. This, in front of the rest of the panel that included Tony O’Dalaigh and someone else (I can’t remember who). I was gobsmacked…mainly because nobody, not one other person on that panel stepped in to say that it was inappropriate. I looked at Colgan straight in the eyes and told him he ‘couldn’t afford me’.

I didn’t get the job…it was a lousy process and I’ve moved on.

I’m comfortable putting this out there because I took a case against the Festival because of the whole shitty interview process and Colgan’s remarks were referred to by my union representative at the time. In other words, there is paperwork to back this up.

The Festival’s lawyers told them I would be a ‘compelling’ witness if the case went to court. I ended up getting a substantial settlement from the festival and agreed to a ‘voluntary redundancy’.

The whole thing was a charade and I really hadn’t thought about it until this week and the #MeToo campaign and the fear in the Irish arts sector of saying out loud what we know. I’m in a privileged position because I don’t rely on Colgan or the many other men out there in the arts sector in positions of power to give me work.

So I really do acknowledge this. But maybe, just maybe this anecdote will encourage others to come forward and tell their stories about the power abuses on our doorsteps right here in Ireland.

On Friday night.

In a blog post, writer, director, performer and activist Grace Dyas claimed the former director of the Gate Theatre Michael Colgan claimed the following exchange took place at the Dublin Theatre Festival launch last year:

Michael Colgan: “You’ve lost so much weight, I’d almost have sex with you”

Grace Dyas: “Michael! You can’t say that to me!”

Colgan: “What! I didn’t say I would fuck you. You haven’t lost that much weight.”

Ms Dyas says when she later told him that what he said was inappropriate, he told her: “Well Grace, as my mother always said, you won’t get very far in life if you can’t take a joke.”

Mr Colgan then admitted to Jason Byrne, a friend of Grace’s, that he did say it, and added “but it was a joke”.

Ms Dyas then says Mr Colgan got to his feet and roared at here, saying: “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you. I never want to breathe the same air as you”.

After another friend of Ms Diyas’s asked him to calm down, Ms Diyas says he continued shouting: “She’s a pig, she’s a pig, I’d never ever, ever want to have sex with her. I wouldn’t say that about that woman, she’s a big woman I would never say that about a big woman.”

Mr Byrne has confirmed to Broadsheet that he recalls the events of that night exactly as Ms Dyas has recalled them.

On Sunday morning, just after 11.30am, co-director of the Abbey Theatre Graham McLaren, who was also present on the night, tweeted: “Grace It chimes completely with my memory of events.”

At around the same time, fellow co-director of the Abbey Neil Murray, who was also present on the night, also tweeted in response to a question from Ms Dyas about her account, saying: “Accurately and as I recall it.”

Yesterday, Limerick choreographer Ella Clarke wrote:

“…During the preview run [for Sweeney Todd at the Gate in 2007], it was house policy for the creative team to be brought to the hospitality room for a note session with Colgan following each of the performances. On the first night, when he noticed me there he said something to the effect of “What’s she doing here?” meaning me.

Blushing and shaking, I answered that I was there because I was the choreographer of the current show. He asked everyone what they would like to drink, excluding me, and had orders brought from the bar. I was ignored, but continued to give notes when I felt the well being of the cast required it.

The same routine played out for the remainder of the preview performances, four or five nights. Throughout this time, Colgan was hostile and rude towards me, and I was ignored each night.

In the bar after the opening night of the production, Michael Colgan groped my buttock as he passed by me. I choose to believe he didn’t recognise me because I wasn’t wearing my work gear. The thought of the groping being a calculated humiliation of me is painful. I did not call him out about the groping. I was shocked.

I tell this story because it is my opinion that my career has been limited by this kind of power structure, and that speaking up in whatever way I did, when I did, brought me an image that was deemed ‘difficult’. I knew it was likely I would never work in the Gate Theatre again, which I haven’t. I know I wasn’t alone dealing with this kind of abuse of power, and the loss to the art form is what hurts me most…. (more at link below)”

 

I’ve been Thinking A Lot About Michael Colgan…(Grace Dyas)

Meanwhile…

Sunday morning.

On RTÉ’s Marian Finucane Show.

Ms Finucane opened the show, where Michael Colgan has been a regular guest, by going through the front pages of the newspapers.

The Sunday Times and the Irish Mail on Sunday both reported on their front pages about  Ms Dyas’s blog post.

Ms Finucane said:

“Hello there, and very good morning to you.”

“Different opening to normal but, nonetheless, we should have a good two hours ahead for you. Let me start with the headlines.

“The Sunday Independent: Punish sex party players, says minister. Also warning against witch-hunt after calls to ban GAA. How Humphries misled his friends on abuse of girl and it is very well done in the article done today in the Sunday Independent, in the sports section.”

“Brendan O’Connor saying it mightn’t be sun, sea and sangria; it might actually be trouble that’s coming up in Spain.”

“The Irish Mail on Sunday and The Sunday Times, that’s the Ireland edition of The Sunday Times, leads with reports about online allegations that, as the Mail puts it, a leading member of Ireland’s cultural community had made lewd, sexist comments to a female colleague.

“They also, there are some very nice photographs of Katie Taylor…”

Later – after introducing the panel

“I was just saying to our guests, prior to the start of the programme that there’s an awful lot of kind of shady stuff going on from Ballyragget to here to whatever. And a lot of it is played out, now we are not going to mention the names about whom allegations were made over night on social media.

“But I’m going to start on social media. Regina Doherty, there’s an interview in the Sunday Business Post, Noirin [Hegarty] and she refers to social media as well in that. Now none of us want to be involved in censorship but sometimes you think, in the name of god, it’s getting out of control.”

Later

“I don’t want to go all po-faced about this but to have your name or your family member’s name put out there with no evidence, other than allegations, seems to me to be a bit tricky.”

Listen back in full here

Previously: De Sunday Papers

UPDATE:

Ciara Elizabeth Smyth

Ciara Elizabeth Smyth writes on Grace’s blog…

“I want to begin by saying I do not regret my time in the Gate. I worked there for the last year of Michael Colgan’s tenure. While I was there, I was Company Manager for the South Carolina tour of The Importance of Being Earnest and Casting and Production Assistant.

“My desk was based in the office across the road from the theatre, commonly referred to as Number 8. This was Michael’s office. In that building, Michael, Teerth (Head of Production) and I worked closely together. Michael’s Assistant, the Head of Marketing and the Marketing Assistant, were also based there. When I was working there these three positions were held by incredible, intelligent and hardworking women. They were, like me, all under 30.

“When I was hired, the Theatre Manager, David Quinlan, told me that I would be “able for Michael”. In my stupidity, I almost took it as a compliment. On my first day, I met with David and he gave me a tour of the building and then sat me down for a chat. He asked me was I aware of Michael’s reputation.”

“David said when things got really bad, and they would get really bad, that I could go to his office to vent. Nothing specific was said after that, it was all vague warnings and implied cautions. I soon learned that speaking like that in the Gate was deliberate. I think no one wanted to say anything that they could have to confess later.”

I cannot begin to document the plethora of inappropriateness and bullying that I experienced while I was in the Gate. Not all from Michael Colgan either. When it was him, with me, it was mostly behind closed doors.

Constant touching of my thighs, back and very occasionally my bum while I sat beside him typing from his dictation. He made frequent comments about the size of my breasts and whether or not I’d contemplate a breast reduction, considering my small frame.

He commented on other women and asked me if I thought they’d give blowjobs or what I thought that they fucked like. He showed me pictures of his girlfriend in her underwear and asked me what I thought of her ass. He would scream, swear and use physical intimidation if anything I did was deemed incompetent.

“And still, I quite liked Michael. We laughed all the time. He used to call me into his office and bitch about whoever had pissed him off that particular hour. He would read passages of Beckett to me. He showed me his letters from Friel and Pinter. Knowing I was a playwright and seeing my eyes light up and dance over his library of scripts, he told me that I could borrow whatever I liked. It was very confusing. Michael had an incredible ability to make you feel so important in one moment and then like dirt in the next.

“The first time I realised how badly affected I had been by my experience at the Gate was after I came back from our tour to South Carolina. I experienced a lot of stress because I was Company Manager and had to act as PA to Michael when I was there. It was not all bad, but I had begun to experience frequent anxiety attacks where it felt like I couldn’t breathe. I would like to mention that the actor Bosco Hogan, who was on tour with us, was one of the only people I ever saw stick up for me with Michael. He is a gentleman and I will never forget his kindness.”

“A few months after we came home from the tour, an incident occurred that I was so hurt and embarrassed by that I tried to make a complaint about Michael to the Theatre Manager, David Quinlan.

“On the day of the incident, I had organised auditions in the auditorium. Michael was in attendance, as were two prominent Irish actors acting as readers and the director of the play we were auditioning for. They were all men in their 40’s and 50’s.

“I brought the actor about to audition in and she took the stage. Everyone was still standing around talking and as I went to leave, Michael pulled me back, hard, by the jacket. He noticed it was new and asked me where I got it. He mentioned the colours, announcing to the room that I only ever wore black and that this new blue and white jacket was quite out of character for me. He asked me was it a Waterford jacket. I said I hadn’t a clue.

He then drew his hand up high in the air, as if he was going to slap me. I put my hand out to stop him and said quietly, “Michael, don’t.” At this stage I imagined everyone was looking at us, but I didn’t take my eyes off him to check. Michael then said “Would you ever fuck off; I wasn’t going to hit you”. I smiled and turned on my heel to leave. The second I turned he walloped me on the ass.

It caught me off guard and force of the slap caused me to stumble forward. I turned to look at him and the only word I could manage to say was his name.

“I checked to see did the group of men see what had happened and although their bodies were facing us, they had turned their heads in different directions. Mortified, I made for the door and again Michael grabbed me, around the wrist this time. “Sit in on this audition will you, I want to get your opinion on this actress”. This, I felt, was a consolation prize for the slap. A prize Michael knew I would be delighted by, under normal circumstances. I had once told him that if couldn’t get a job in theatre, I’d sweep the floors of the Gate.

“I took a seat in row J and stared at the stage dumbstruck. He had been sexually inappropriate towards me countless times and he had embarrassed me in public by shouting at me or being breathtakingly rude. But this time he had mixed the two in order to humiliate me, in a new, fresh manner and he had. During work, in front of a group of people he knew I respected.

“During the audition, while I sat there silently staring at the stage feeling worthless, one of the actors who was acting as a reader sat beside me. I adored him. He started whispering to me, asking what I thought of the actor auditioning and what my thoughts were on the script. I wondered was this consolation prize. I checked later that day and Michael had slapped me so hard it had left a red mark on my skin.

“The rest of that day was uneventful. I went back to Number 8; I don’t think Michael returned from the auditions. The next day, I felt shaken. I didn’t know if there was anything I could do, but I did not want to feel like this again. I was no longer able to tolerate the everyday touching and comments. I rang the Theatre Manager, David Quinlan, and made an appointment to meet with him during lunchtime that day.

“When I walked into David’s office and closed the door, I realised I was crying. I explained to David, in detail what had happened. As I spoke, the colour drained from his face and he became noticeably more reserved. He asked – had I told Michael not to do that. Yes, I said. He then told me that I needed to make my “boundaries clear” with Michael. I asked why David thought that I needed to tell Michael that he shouldn’t hit me. David said something to the effect of – if it happened, of course he shouldn’t hit me.

“Ignoring this comment, I asked what I could do as I didn’t want this to happen again. I was told I could write a letter of complaint, which would go to the Gate Board and they may decide a course of action. “But Michael is on the board” I said. “Yes”, he said. I left his office.

“Disappointed with this encounter, I returned to Number 8. Still upset, I decided to mention it to the Head of Production, Teerth. She did not console me, ask me questions or offer any advice. She did not seem interested or have any desire to continue the conversation. After this, I wondered was I overreacting. I didn’t want to write a letter of complaint to the Board. I felt Michael would be furious with me and I would have to leave my job. However, not being able to shake the feeling of anxiety, I decided to speak with Michael.

“When he came into work, I asked him for a word and he told me to come into his office and close the door. I said he had done something the other day that had really upset me. To which he responded “What did I do darling?”. I reminded him what had happened. He immediately said “But darling I hit my daughters on the ass”. I then outlined that I was not one of his daughters, but his employee; that he shouldn’t hit me. I felt like an idiot. He apologised and said he wouldn’t do it again. At the time, I thought that was the best possible outcome of that situation.

“Unfortunately, in the weeks that followed, he ridiculed me for doing this. In meetings with the Heads of Department, while I was typing beside him and in front of people who I was meeting for the first time. Always in public. He would raise his hand as if to hit me, then punch me on the arm and say “Oh we can’t hit Ciara”. In one meeting, when he did that, I looked around the room at all the Heads of Department and everyone was smiling. Some people laughed. I was angrier with them than I ever was with him.

“Michael was not the only one who was actively sexually inappropriate. The Production Manager, Jim McConnell, used to call me, on the phone, at my desk and tell me my voice was “dulcet, sultry and sensual”. He’d ask me to speak slowly or to say his name. He’d ask what I was wearing. On these occasions, I would tell him to shut up or fuck off but I tried to make my tone jovial, so he wouldn’t think I was a bitch.

“When he would come over to the Number 8, if I were alone in the room, he’d call me baby and tell me I looked stunning. If I wore a low cut top he would always make comment on my breasts. It got to the point where I was avoiding being alone with him or putting a jumper on when he came over to the office.

My point is this was not just Michael Colgan. He was happy to accept and cultivate his reputation. But in my opinion and experience a number of people in positions of power aided and abetted him at worst, at best, did nothing to intervene. Some tried to be like him, some would not admit what was happening in front of them and some just weren’t interested. But everyone knew.

“I was not the first woman that had worked in Number 8. I was not the first woman that had gone on tour with Michael. I was not the first woman to be humiliated, degraded, abused and felt up. There were fucking loads of us. We were led into that building like lambs to the slaughter. Interviewed by the people that would later ignore us when we were crying.

“I believe that the Board must have known and that management must have known and if they didn’t, they should have known. From my experience and time in theatre in Dublin, those who knew Michael Colgan, knew. I can only guess at why they allowed him to behave in that manner.

The worst thing for me now is still feeling like I am overreacting. I was slow to write anything down because of that feeling. I imagine other girls and women had far worse experiences. I also imagine that there are far worse men than Michael Colgan. If nothing else happens, we need some funding for accountability, for proper HR departments in theatres and theatre companies. Someone to hold abusers accountable.”

Ruth Gordon

Ruth Gordon writes on Grace’s blog…

“I was interviewed by Michael Colgan in 2011 for the role of Assistant to Head of Production at the Gate. I was initially interviewed by two Gate staff members and was subsequently emailed inviting me to a second meeting; this was to meet Michael Colgan.

“During this meeting Michael Colgan asked me questions of a discriminatory nature about my gender, age, and marital status that weren’t appropriate. The original two staff members who interviewed me, Teerth Chungh and David Quinlan, were also present.

“Neither spoke during the interview except to greet me and say goodbye at the end, they didn’t say anything about the inappropriate questions, or intervene.

“His opening question was “Any date set?”. I was immediately thrown. This had nothing to do with anything. As it happened I had recently got engaged but I wasn’t wearing a ring so I recalibrated as quickly as I could and answered, truthfully, no. I was immediately on the backfoot. Where was this going?

“He talked at length then, not asking many questions. I had been tipped off by the girl working in reception that he liked to talk a lot so I took this as normal for him and waited to be asked something. He eventually asked a few job related questions and then said, “What age are you Ruth?”. Put on the spot, I told him my age reluctantly. This was swiftly followed up by, “How do I know you’re not going to go off in 18 months and have a load of babies?” I sort of laughed from shock, shaking my head and I shrugged my shoulders by way of response. I simply did not know what to say. At this point I just wanted to leave. I already knew that I didn’t want the job.

“The subject turned to which Gate shows I had seen. I named “Waiting for Godot” and then began faltering saying something like, “…and …eh….”. My confidence was shot; my mind blank. When I wasn’t forthcoming, Michael mimicked my own voice back at me, tilting his head to the side and saying “and … eh…. Waiting for Godot?”.

“There was nowhere to go from there. I averted my gaze, turning away from him and placed my hands on my lap closing myself off. We were done. I was thanked, we shook hands and I left.
I was relieved initially to be out. But the relief was soon replaced by a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

I felt humiliated, belittled, mistreated but also numb and dazed with confusion as to what had just happened. I didn’t know what to do. It took 3 days before anger fully set in. I tried to think of something I could do. Maybe I would just ring the Gate and feed back that I was unhappy with the questions I had been asked.

“That wouldn’t change anything though. I told a few people in the upper echelons of theatre in Galway and Ireland – a manager of a large theatre company, a venue manager, and a festival manager, all of whom knew me and whom I trusted. They all felt terrible for me and were appalled, but not surprised, by Michael Colgan’s behaviour, but they were at a loss as to what action could be taken that wouldn’t have a negative impact on my career.

“I have always considered myself a feminist and someone who does “the right thing” but in this instance I felt too small and insignificant to make any difference to this man’s behaviour. He was in the position of power, I was not. I had everything to lose so I was afraid to speak up.”

Through the Gate (Grace Dyas)

129 thoughts on “Barbarian At The Gate

  1. rotide

    To recap:

    Firstly a case where the system worked. A man makes a stupid joke in a professional setting. Litigation sets things straight.

    Secondly a case where a drunken gobpoo made a stupid joke to a friend and drama ensued.

    Alternatively, he’s the devil.

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      You’re actually defending him? “Stupid joke”?!? Who are you to tell a woman how she should feel about powerful men making dehumanizing comments to them? Why do you think you have a right to sneer at this woman and her story? Horrible little troll

      1. rotide

        You’re actually amusing sometimes.

        Particularly when you wail about dehumanizing comments and then make dehumanizing comments.

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          Seriously, Bodger. You have rules about bigotry. This disgusting misogynist should have been banned ages ago. Why allow such poisonous hatred in a post about vulnerable women standing uo to bullies? Irony?

        2. martco

          arra the bit I’m surprised about is why anyone is remotely surprised or getting worked up that Marian Finucane would studiously avoid any mention of her old buddy’s current predicament? (no doubt there’ll be all sorts of convenient legalese cover available for that)

          which apart from the re-re-repeat of the original outing post I think is the actual point of this post…

          anyway point being sure isn’t Finucane is a parody of her Callan’s Kicks parody like? she’s virtually irrelevant and an example of why I’m happy not to have paid any RTE tax to date. ever.

    2. Barry the Hatchet

      1) Did the “system” work? She got a settlement, but nothing seems to have happened to him.

      2) It’s troubling that you need this to be explained to you but comments like this are not jokes – regardless of their intention; roaring abuse at someone is not “drama”; and being drunk is not an excuse. Also, it seems clear to me that they weren’t friends, nor were they even professional equals. He was in a position of power over her, which makes this even more unacceptable.

      3) The third story describes a clear sexual assault. You choose not to reference this in your comment.

      4) He seems like a sh*tty person, but no one has called him the devil. Nice attempt to derail the conversation though.

      1. rotide

        1. She says herself that the settlement was due to the entire process and his comment was only a part of that.

        2. I realise that it’s not a joke. It was a fairly awful thing to say to someone. People say fairly awful things to people all the time. People get drunk and shout at people all the time. Generally these things get sorted out without the need for a comparison with allegeded rapists (Ms Dyas seems to be have commandeered the #metoo hashtag for use with someone who hasn’t been accused of anything seedy).
        It seems clear to me that these two, while maybe not close friends were certainly friendly.

        3. The third story does indeed contain an allegation of a sexual assault.

        4. He is the subject of a social media campaign which is a direct extension of the social media campaign directed against an allegeded rapist. The blog post led directly to ‘Sex Pest’ headlines. This generally isn’t the treatment reserved for the large percentgage of our population who are sh&tty people.

        1. LW

          Which is it, has he not been accused of anything seedy or has he been accused of sexual assault? One surely precludes the other

          1. rotide

            He was not accused of anything remotely close to sexual assault in the blog, which is what led to the headlines and this article.

          2. LW

            Would you consider it sexual harassment, the comments surrounding weight loss and how he’d consider having sex with her?

            If someone told you that your appearance had almost improved to the point of being sexually attractive? Or if someone said that to your mother, or some other woman you’re close to?

          3. rotide

            I’ve said similar and had similar things said to me. That’s among friends obviously. If a random stranger said it, I might consider it rude depending on context or tone.

            I don’t consider it sexual harassment but I guess I might be a dinosaur in that regard.

          4. LW

            Would you say it in a professional environment?
            I’d also say that just because you find something acceptable between you and your friends, doesn’t mean it’s universal. I wouldn’t say that to any of my friends, it sounds horrible to be honest. And I wouldn’t be happy to hear it said to a friend of mine either. Obviously Dyas didn’t like it, which is fair enough. And she confronted him about it, and he reacted thus. I’m not sure what part of his behaviour you find defensible, other than it could have been worse?

          5. LW

            And have you genuinely told someone that they’ve lost so much weight you’d almost consider having sex with them? Or what was the similarity?

        2. MoyestWithExcitement

          “He is the subject of a social media campaign”

          “This generally isn’t the treatment reserved for the large percentgage of our population who are sh&tty people.”

          “a case where a drunken gobpoo made a stupid joke to a friend and drama ensued.”

          Rotide is clearly sympathizing with Colgan. He’s been “subjected” to a “campaign”, and this “treatment” is something a “large percentage” of people who engage in similar behaviour haven’t had to deal with and all he did was make a “stupid joke”.

          Rotide and Clampers
          Sitting in a tree
          KKKissing

          1. RJR Nabisco

            You should be banned for such abuse, no?

            Teacher, teacher – Rotide and Clampers were meeeeaaaaannn to me.
            Show me on the screen where Rotide hurt your feelings box.

            You child, you company man. You abuse people all day long on BS, then when challenged with something you don’t like, you go running to the umpire to get them banned. Use your words, baby… seems like you have a lot of them.

            #metoo #trollsbeingtrolled #bantz

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            Yeah, I’m really not looking forward to marking your paper, rotide. Luckily, the junior cert doesn’t really matter so you’re ok for now. You’re going to need massive improvements not to fail your leaving cert though. You can start by not saying such creepy things about women.

    3. LW

      You might want to read the second one again before doing your recap Rotide. Did you miss the bit where he was shouting at her calling her a pig, and saying he didn’t want to breathe the same air as her?

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        He’s here so he can feel superior by sneering at a woman and implying she’s hysterical/too sensitive. Reality doesn’t matter to him.

          1. realPolithicks

            You regularly post these kinds of comment but when you’re called out on it you never have any explanation or justification.The term you used is very offensive and it says a lot about you that you would use it.

          2. Happy Molloy

            Jesus… thought you could read between the lines.

            Moyest called me a mongoloid a couple of weeks back and got a fair bit of flack for it. I was pointing out his hypocrisy.

            I agree it’s very offensive. Calling someone a moron is pretty offensive too.

          3. rotide

            realPolithiks, Moyest is the one who uses the term about people he doesn’t agree with. Harry is just pointing that out.

            So direct your ire at moyest.

          4. realPolithicks

            Again with the constant deflection, now it’s my fault that I wasn’t aware of some comment you and Moyest made a couple of weeks ago. You made the comment today, own it instead of blaming other people for the offensive things you say.

          5. Happy Molloy

            You are a person of the utmost integrity. Thank you for holding yourself and Moyest to the same standards that you hold me to.

          6. Nigel

            In a post where at least on person (below) is dismissing Colgan’s remarks as sub-Wildean wit, you, supposedly defending the target of such remarks, are claiming that your use of ‘mongoloid’ was ‘really funny?’ Fu. Pp. You.

          7. Nigel

            And does your antagonism towards rotide and Happy Molloy prevent you from seeing what a nasty little Michael Colgan that makes you, or were you always just fundamentally a repulsive bully who enjoyed using slurs that mock the mentally disabled?

          8. MoyestWithExcitement

            It helps me laugh at all the people who’ve felt judged by me over the years, working themselves into a lather, pretending to be offended by a word that hasn’t had cultural resonance since the 1980s. I just figured I’d catch the likes of rotide and clamps with that word. I should have remembered you existed as well. Remember telling me I was being in league with right wing misogynystbecause I was condeming a politician who happened to be a woman? The problem right wingers have with their virtue signalling meme is they use it way too much. Virtue signallers do exist though. Hello.

          9. mildred st. meadowlark

            Moyest, my dearest prat. I try to ignore what you post, what with it being either hysterical nonsense or the usual poisonous insults but really this takes the biscuit. No one, and I do mean this, no one feels judged by you.
            Do you really think that highly of yourself? Also did you just imply Nigel is alt-right? Have you been snorting sherbet again? Is that it?

          10. Nigel

            I’m so glad throwing slurs about the mentally disabled around is working out for you, as is lying about me calling you something I didn’t. No-one would mistake you for a virtuous person, that’s for sure, since you’re so worried about it.

          11. MoyestWithExcitement

            Luckily, nobody really cares what you think. You want them to though. Currently people are seeing you be friendly with a misogynist troll but you do you, Nigey.

          12. MoyestWithExcitement

            “My favorite part was when he called you right wing Nigel, a tour de force of the genre”

            My favourite part is seeing you, on account of being so incoherent with rage, see things that aren’t there.

          13. realPolithicks

            “pretending to be offended by a word that hasn’t had cultural resonance since the 1980s”

            Moyest, I tend to agree with a lot of what you have to say on here, but you’re way off base with your take on the use of that offensive term. It’s never acceptable to make fun of somebody using that kind of derogatory language, I’m old enough to remember when this term was used to describe people with Downs Syndrome but thankfully it’s use has all but disappeared. Lets try to keep it that way.

          14. MoyestWithExcitement

            Fair enough. I look at it like the word for see you next tuesday. I wouldn’t use that word against a woman but have no problem with using it against a woman. I understand if it upset some though.

          15. MoyestWithExcitement

            Nigey, you think protestors from poverty stricken areas are animals who need locking up so nobody really cares who you think is a good human or not. Not at all surprising you think a misogynist troll is good people though.

          16. Mary Lambe

            Moyest is absolutely right. No one other than moderators has the power here to decide whether this or that term is objectionable in context and most of the people labeling him a troll bully etc are as guilty of exactly the same behavior they claim to abhor here daily. Go lie down.

        1. RJR Nabisco

          You’re here so you can feel superior by sneering anyone who doesn’t conform to your narrow world view, and to imply they’re hysterical/too sensitive when they disagree. Reality doesn’t matter to you.

          Top Bantz seeing you get your knickers all bunched up today. Seems you can’t take it, but you can dish it out. #metoo

        2. realPolithicks

          @rotide The only person i see using that term today is Harry and frankly I don’t care what may have happened weeks ago. If I see Moyest or anyone else use a term like this then I will call him/her out on it.

      2. Daisy Chainsaw

        Shouting about her at a festival launch in a room not only full of her peers, but media too? I honestly can’t think of anything more humiliating to happen.

        He’ll probably say he doesn’t remember it and that he was drunk… That makes it all okay, apparently.

        1. rotide

          ‘about her’? He was shouting at her.

          She writes in detail about how she knew he was quite drunk so gathered some friends specifically with the intention of calling him up on his comment to her. She said ‘You are the biggest misogynist in Irish Theatre.’. If you believe that he’s the the biggest misogynist in Irish Theatre, then you are fully aware he’s not going to react to being told that by quietly finishing his drink and leaving to go and have a chat with his mindfulness councillor.

          I’m not going to say that this was perfectly normal and commendable behaviour but it’s hardly surprising now is it?

          1. Vote Rep #1

            So its kinda her fault? She should have know better then to call him out like that, the silly girl

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            “If you believe that he’s the the biggest misogynist in Irish Theatre, then you are fully aware he’s not going to react to being told that by quietly finishing his drink and leaving to go and have a chat with his mindfulness councillor.”

            Here we see rotide victim-blaming.

          3. MoyestWithExcitement

            ‘his mindfulness councillor.’

            Also, sneering at the victim. He clearly feels contempt for her.

          4. rotide

            No, victim blaming would be suggesting that she somehow asked for him to make the uncalled for initial comment to her which she clearly didn’t.

          5. MoyestWithExcitement

            “No, victim blaming would be suggesting that she somehow asked for him to make the uncalled for initial comment”

            Of course, this is exactly what rotide said.

            “then *you are fully aware* he’s not going to react to “

          6. Nigel

            Sounds like she was absolutely right to do so, and any consequences for his actions fall squarely on him.

    4. realPolithicks

      How about just focusing on the issue itself. We now have two separate women saying that this guy made highly inappropriate (at best) comments to them. I have also read of other women who make similar accusations against him but who are not prepared to go on the record. It seems fairly clear that there is an issue with this man and I think the conversation should maybe focus on the women who will not go on the record and why it is they are afraid to do so.

    5. Murphy

      Making a stupid joke is one thing but it does sound as though this bullying and humiliation was going on all the time. Mr. Colgan is very rich (5k + per week) and very powerful and people looking for work would be thinking “if I cross him, I’ll be finished in the business”.

    1. Eamonn Clancy

      Yes, an established gay director is renowned for groping straight theatre artists and coming on to them while pissed. Everyone laughs it off, afraid that if they raise it he won’t cast them in his Abbey shows.

  2. newsjustin

    Nasty stuff. Good that these stories are emerging. The person in question will have no shortage of ways/means and channels to refute the allegations if they wish to.

    The tache may have been a warning, in retrospect.

    1. Paddy at the Howth Summit

      Fintan O’Toole putting out as much distraction as possible from the Irish Times relationship with Tom Humphries and like nobody suspected or knew anything as usual, I suppose. Maybe Rosita Boland can whinge about the boardwalk, Tuam babies, or Belvo boys sleepout coming up. Usual cant and hypocrisy.

        1. ahjayzis

          It was a joke babes. Because the manner of your whining suggests a self esteem issue. Hope that helps x

          1. Rowsdower

            This is the internet equivalent of I know you are but what am I?

            Worst part about your comment was that after you posted it, you probably say back, read it again and thought “Oh boy, ive got him there!”

            Infantile stupidity.

          2. Jocky

            My chap is fine. You always hear this crap though from some feminists. Some hateful right winger is that way because he has a small dangly fella. Or a man buys a nice car and that must mean he has a small tummy stick.

            So what if they do?

      1. ahjayzis

        Exposure. What’s the fun in being a bitter lonely little man when you can’t lash out at the evil womens who refuse to look at you?

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          Because lots of women are seeing other women go public about their experiences and that, in turn, makes them feel less alone and more able to go public themselves. Or it’s all a conspiracy to enslave men.

        2. realPolithicks

          Obviously it’s because of the Weinstein revelations, I assume that women feel more comfortable coming forward when the issue is being discussed in public.

  3. Paddy at the Howth Summit

    Marian Finucane has a point there. There is *no* evidence in the case of the blogger, hearsay. Take it to court.

    1. Vote Rep #1

      She was backed up by other people that were there. Most of them seem to be other women though so I’m not sure what they say would count as evidence in your eyes.

    2. Brother Barnabas

      Yeah, except it’s a review of the newspapers slot on her show – where they discuss the front page stories. It doesnt matter if she personally doubts the veracity or doesn’t think the story should be in the paper.

    3. Anne Mullee

      You mean apart from the witnesses who have corroborated her account of events?

      And the additional reports of Colgan’s groping, sexual harassment and inappropriate language in a professional setting?

  4. Eamonn Clancy

    Colgan threw a crude one liner at her while drunk, that’s all. I’ve heard worse in pubs and I’m sure so has she. His reputation remains un damaged, her’s however is severely fractured. All those making the noise on social media are bottom feeders in Irish theatre. They work for free in shows that rarely run longer than a week and thier reputations are built on shows they have self financed. Vanity productions that fool no one but themselves and who’s audiences are made up if family and friends. A cursory glance on twitter and Facebook will show that no established actors, writers or directors have joined the mob. That in itself speaks volumes.

    1. Cynical

      Don’t know about the theatre Eamonn, but the stories at face value have very little substance. Even less if anything was embellished.

  5. Catherinecostelloe

    A post was started by Clare Kelly on BS on a very serious allegation. That a national media figure was a rapist and a wife beater. I found it extraordinary that Ms Kelly, (a journalist) in the first few lines was clearly stating that she ” didn’t know the woman” who brought these allegations to her attention.
    Now I would have thought it would be of vital importance to check the reliability of a source before you go to print. Supposing the woman informant suffered with paranoia? I found Ms Kelly’s piece short on detail and fact but high on emotion…is ” hands shaking as I type this…. “. For Gods sake if there is a rapist walking around go to Garda not twitter, Facebook and social media. Get facts.

    1. Andrew

      Do you mean Ciara Kelly? I don’t think she started a post on broadsheet either. She also has nothing to do with this Michael Colgan story.

  6. Eamonn Clancy

    To anyone who knew him, Colgan, when drunk, liked to think that he was Oscar Wilde, always ready with a brilliant one liner, comeback or put down. Many hit the mark, some didn’t and some went over the heads of his targets. Like it or not, his comeback a year ago in the Oak was a brilliant put down. But that’s all it was. A verbal smack of the back of the hand that he felt was warranted at the time. And you can rest assured that he’s destroyed better men and women with better lines in the past and in better company too. That the lady in question choose to set him up with an audience and have him repeat it that evening says a lot. But worse, that she waited a whole year to piggy back on to the #MeToo bandwagon with it is unforgivable. #MeToo was about rape, sexual assault, ambushing women in hotel rooms, it was about horrendous, illegal behavior. But Michael Colgan’s, (who’s done more in one weekend for Irish theatre than Ms Dyas ever will even if she lives to be 1000), comment is a million miles from this and Ms Dyas’s attempt to hatch her wagon to it is pitiful.

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      All these men who know how women should feel about being dehumanized by men with power over them. Fascinating.

    2. Nigel

      Women are just there to be the target for his crude sexual jibes, how dare she publicise that jibe and get witnesses to that jibe as if there was something wrong with it. Eamon launches a vicious personal attack against a woman who won’t just sit still and enjoy being a target for cruel sexual jibes, like she’s supposed to.

    3. Barry the Hatchet

      Sorry, just to clarify, which bit of his comments do you consider to be “a brilliant put-down”, Eamonn? The bit where he says Dyas isn’t fuppable? The bit where he calls her a pig? The bit where he says she’s fat? The bit where he says he hates her?

      None of what he said is brilliant, witty banter. It’s just bullying.

  7. Pete Tong

    Most women would just take it in their stride and not think twice about it. Small minority have to turn themselves into victims.

    1. Lilly

      That’s just it. Grace Dyas looks about 100 years younger than the old goat. Even if she were the high priestess of obesity, what on earth gives him the audacity to imagine she would touch him?

  8. Lilly

    Colgan is a dinosaur but the thing that pisses me off about people like him is that they choose their targets carefully. Do you think he’d dream of saying to Marian Finucane, for instance, that he might do her the favour of having sex with her if she shed a few pounds – no matter how much he’d had to drink.

    Indeed he would not. Around her he would be the perfect charming toad lest he jeopardise his regular shot at polluting the waves with hot air. I have some sympathy for drunken idiots but none for boorish bullies.

    1. lillyrules

      +1 Lilly. Nothing worse than a fake man, a con artist bulllying a woman behind closed doors , jibes about her looks , her weight, her everything but all sweetness and light in public, a charmer to those he knows would break his fupping neck.

      1. Mary Lambe

        Totally and probably other men as well in fairness just an oul queen lording it around the world

        1. SDaedalus

          Great observation Lilly about these people choosing their targets carefully, and it tends to be vulnerable persons they pick, often those who have suffered from others in the past. Typical bullies.

  9. Lilly

    Having said all that, I enjoy his contributions to Sean O’Rourke’s book club and was disappointed that he was missing today.

  10. Cynical

    Is this the new trend? We get to air our grievances with the world in a public forum.

    All I can take away from the over dramatically written stories provided so far is that no harassment or abuse took place.

    1. LW

      Are you asking if the internet is a new trend, or people airing their grievances? Neither is particularly new, although the latter predates the former by a considerable span.

          1. Murphy

            I’m just trying to imagine a young lady at an interview for a job in a bank or insurance company being spoken to in this manner and later whacked on the backside by the boss? Whacked so hard she stumbles across the room and is left with marks? Being advised to wear a different bra – or consider breast reduction?

            It’s all quite astonishing!

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