— Glenn Fitzpatrick (@glennthefitz) January 5, 2019
Earlier: Modern Living
Previously: “I’m Aware Of The Fact We’re Above 10,0000”
The Sunday Times.
The INM Approach!
The Gemma Question!
The last line in the second tweet is reference to Mr Mooney and his paper’s role in the Maurice McCabe saga.
And barely-veiled criticism of those who confirmed the source of negative and dishonest briefings about the Garda whistleblower.
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)”
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.”
“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
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 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.”
RTÉ studios in Donnybrook, Dublin 4
Mark Tighe, in yesterday’s Sunday Times, reported:
Almost three-quarters of those who earn salaries of more than €100,000 a year in RTE are men, according to figures obtained by The Sunday Times. By contrast, well over half of RTE staff paid less than €40,000 are women.
…This has now been confirmed in figures supplied after a freedom of information request to the station.
They cover basic salary of staff members, and not contractors, overtime or allowances.
The figures show that, while women made up 48.3% of RTE’s 1,984 staff at the end of 2016, they accounted for just 29.6% of the 125 workers whose basic annual salary was more than €100,000.
Previously: They’re Back!
Kevin Myers apologises to Vanessa Feltz and Claudia Winkelman over article in Sunday Times pic.twitter.com/7UToWtnzVt
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) August 1, 2017
Kevin Myers (right_ and Sean O’Rourke on Today with Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio One this morning
On RTE One’s Today with Sean O’Rourke.
From the interview…
Kevin Myers: “…I think I could have been treated with more dignity [by the Sunday Times] but I do understand. I too quickly said and an affirmative to a question I wasn’t expecting, I said ‘yes’. And I don’t think that’s quite right because anyone should have a second chance for making an error of judgment.
“You see I’ve come on air and I’m not fully prepared for what you’re going to throw at me. I haven’t slept in two nights and I’m…”
Sean O’Rourke: “It’s a very tough thing and, on a human level, I think people will empathise or sympathise with somebody losing, you’ve lost your livelihood?”
Myers: “Yes, I have. But I don’t want anyone else to lose their livelihood. Enough damage has been done. So, you know, it’s happened. I enjoyed working for The Sunday Times and I’m sorry this has happened. I did, I mean…”
O’Rourke: “But I mean even if, if there had been, and again, that’s noble of you to say it but if there are five or six people whose job it is to vet what people write for the paper, prior to it going to print, surely they have to be on the line aswell.”
Talk over each other
Myers: “Enough damage, enough misery has been caused. You see, you can have a perch, you can, and a lot of people would love a perch. A nice big witch hunt, lots of victims, lots of lives ruined, lots of mortgages…”
O’Rourke: “It’s called taking responsibility.”
Myers: “I’m taking responsibility for what I wrote. I can’t do anything for anybody else.”
O’Rourke: “OK, and the other thing that’s been much noted and much commented upon is that if there hadn’t been those references to two women presenters in the BBC, Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz, you would still be a columnist. And questions are being asked…”
Myers: “And, you know, that was just one single a line or two, that’s all.”
O’Rourke: “Yeah, but the question is being asked what about the way you would appear to routinely write material which is misogynistic…”
Myers: “It’s not misogynistic, no it’s not misogynistic. I am a critic of political feminism. I am not a misogynist. That’s a term that you might have been, I don’t think you would have used that term about me in different circumstances, Sean. It hasn’t routinely been used about me but it’s a simple way of labelling somebody and that means you don’t have to listen to what they’re saying.”
O’Rourke: “But in terms of why people get ahead professionally and why men more so than women do so, you suggest that a personnel department or a human resources department, as it’s now called, will tell you that ‘men usually work harder, get sick less frequently and seldom get pregnant. But most of all men tend to be more ambitious, they have that grey-backed testosterone-powered hierarchy-climbing id that feminised and egalitarian-obsessed legislatures are increasingly trying to legislate against’.”
Myers: “Yes, well that’s an observation I would have made on many occasions and I don’t think it would have been the object of such obloquy in different circumstances but I do believe that men and women behave very differently and men are driven by ambition and by urges that women don’t have, generally speaking.”
O’Rourke: “When you wrote as well, in the same column on Sunday, ‘a fairly average female columnist in 800 indignant words of smouldering mediocrity will, without leaving her keyboard, earn more than a cleaning lady or a checkout girl, what they would earn, in an entire week plus Sunday overtime’. Now why refer to a fairly average female columnist there?”
Myers: “Actually, because we’re talking about the context of equality. I don’t believe in equality, Sean. I’m not asking you questions. You’re asking me questions. I’m on this programme because Mary, your producer texted me this morning and she’s doing her professional job outside. None of us is equal to one another. I’m arguing in, repeatedly, over the decades…”
O’Rourke: “Why put in the word, if you just wrote ‘a fairly average columnist in 800 indignant words’, I mean why does it have to be a ‘female columnist’?”
Myers: “Because I’m talking about the issue of female equality when women, when feminists talk about, within the BBC, talking about how they should be equal with the men, well actually nobody’s equal so the women who’s making the tea or cleaning the floors or whatever, is not equal to the star presenter. And it just, that was the issue, the context of that…”
O’Rourke: “That applies equally to male as well as female…”
Myers: “It does absolutely. But you see you can actually Sean, without any problem, got through line by line and paragraph by paragraph in that thing and find..”
O’Rourke: “OK, well I want to do one more, actually, if I may, and I don’t want to labour the point. But you say: ‘equality is a unicorn, don’t wait for it or look for favours because of your chromosome count. Get what you can with whatever talents you have and ask yourself how many women are billionaires, chess players, grandmasters, mathematicians, there’s a connection: mastery of money usually requires singular drive, ruthless logic and instant arctic cold arithmetic’. Now, it’s very easy to conclude, reading that paragraph or most of a paragraph that you actually believe that women are inferior to men.”
Myers: “Well you might have come to that conclusion. If I thought that, I would be an idiot. And I’m sorry that I’ve given that impression but I’ve already told you that I have many weaknesses and one of my weaknesses is a weakness for facile terminology like that. If it irritates people then you’re losing them, you lose them as readers or listeners or whatever. Now, the way you’ve read that out to me, and to your audience, makes me sound like a very unpleasant person. But I’m not a very unpleasant person. You’ve just taken any single paragraph…”
O’Rourke: “By the way, it is the duty of a columnist, I would argue and I’m sure you would as well, occasionally, to be unpleasant.”
Myers: “It is but the point is a single paragraph taken like that, out of context, makes me sound like a villain. But there are very few women mathematicians, there are very few women grand chess masters, there’s on in the top 100, that’s a fact.”
O’Rourke: “Maybe they have better things to be doing.”
Myers: “Well that’s the point. That is the point. Now if I had said that, it would be called misogyny.”
O’Rourke: “Now there’s a lot of traffic on our text line [reads out text] “Does Mr Myers apologise for calling the children of single mothers ‘bastards?’.”
Myers: “Well I don;t know why she’s asking that..Is that a woman asking that? I wrote an entire column on that. The column appeared on a Tuesday by Thursday I had written a full retraction and a full and abject apology in which the terms abject and contrite were the two words I used at the end. I knew I had done a bad thing.”
O’Rourke: “Ruth Walsh , I’m not sure if it’s our former journalistic colleague Ruth Walsh is tweeting to observe: ‘Kevin Myers in person is a very likeable but he has made too many throw away remarks over the years. He is not a rookie journalist’.”
Myers: “Well, I’m not going to argue with that.”
O’Rourke: “I’m wondering how do you go about rebuilding or do you at this stage…”
Myers: “Very hard to say how I can say I can recover from this. Personally I’m in a very bad way which is fine, people expect you to suffer if they give you a good kicking and that’s happening. I’m not sure if there’s any redemption for me now which will give a lot of people satisfaction.”
O’Rourke: “And if they read the Independent today, Gerard O’Regan their former editor is writing about how unnecessarily difficult it was for him as an editor to deal with you. I suppose brilliant people are often difficult people to deal with. It could be said you long ago burnt your bridges in the Irish Times, then the Independent and now the Sunday Times…”
Myers: “I didn’t burn my bridges in the irish Times. I left the irish Times. The irish Times didn’t ask me to leave and they actually tried very hard for me to stay. The Irish Independent declined to renew my contract when it was up but there was no strained feelings there. It didn’t happen and the Sunday Times took me on. We now know the Sunday Times relationship is over.”
O’Rourke: “You don’t think there’s any way to argue your way back in there by maybe writing a fresh column. Would you like to be given space to write 750 or a thousand words just to state your position not necessarily pleading for your job back.”
Myers: well there’s no question the Sunday Times are taking me on as far as I can see. Martin Ivens, the editor I amtold – I haven’t been reading stuff online as I haven’t got the constitution to take all that hatred that exists online – that I will never be employed by the Sunday Times in any guise in the future so I have to accept him on his word.
O’Rourke: “In your defence there is the statement issued by Maurice Cohen, chair of the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland in which he says branding Kevin Myers as either an anti-semite or a Holocaust denier is an absolute distortion of the facts but he does go on to take issue with…”
Myers: “All the Jews have. I accept that. I was wrong. It was stupid of me this encapsulation of this quite big issue in a single sentence or half a sentence. It’s done me terminal damage but that’s that. It’s what happens in life these days.
O’Rourke: “Would there have been a sense though, subconsciously or otherwise, that I can toss out these lines and observations and sure look there’s half a dozen people to rein me in if I go overboard and I can push the boundaries, push the boundaries..
Myers: “I am the Master of my soul and the author of my own misfortune. I cannot blame anyone else”
O’Rourke: “What would you say to Vanessa Feltz and Claudia Winkleman this morning?”
Myers: “I am very, very sorry. I really mean this because I’m not rescuing anything. It’s over for me professionally as far as I can see. I am very, very sorry that I should have so offended them and I do utter an apology not for any reason other than out of genuine contrition for the hurt I caused them but I did so out of respect for the religion they come from and for the religion I still hold in regard, particularly the irish members of that religion who have been so forthright in their defence of me generally. Not just Maurice [Cohen]. Others who have been contacting me privately and I am so grateful for their support.”
O’Rourke: “Kevin Myers, thank you for coming in today.”
Myers: “Thank you, Sean.”
Listen back in in full here
Sunday: Kevin’s Gate
Yesterday’s Sunday Times
The Sunday Times reported that The Irish Times was censured by the Workplace Relations Commission after it was found to have discriminated against a female sub-editor by cutting her shift rate after she returned from maternity leave.
The newspaper was ordered to pay her a total of €9,000 – €6,500 in wages and €2,500 compensation for the personal distress and anxiety caused.
The judgment can be read in full here.
Further to this…
It’s interesting to note The Irish Times’ approach to regularly reporting cases of discrimination from the Workplace Relations Commission and the Equality Tribunal, as well as their constant commentary on this form of discrimination.
On December, 5th, 2016, seven days before the Workplace Relations Commission ruled that The Irish Times had discriminated against a new mother, The Irish Times ran an editorial with the headline: ‘We need an all-Ireland campaign to promote equality for working mother’ in which it said:
While tougher laws may play a role, real progress in equality for pregnant women will only come through targeted efforts to change the workplace culture and a real shift in the societal expectation of working parents. We should start with an all-island campaign promoting equality for working mothers and pregnant women.
In addition, so appalled by discrimination against working mothers, The Irish Times is very fond of promoting NGO research and case studies that show how pregnant women continuously face discrimination in the workplace:
From November 29, 2016, in an article headlined “Half of women in North say careers damaged after pregnancy”, it stated:
More than a third of women in Northern Ireland said they were treated unfairly or disadvantaged due to pregnancy or taking maternity leave, according to a survey carried out by the North’s Equality Commission.
From August 14, 2015, in an article headlined “Pregnant and working? You may still face discrimination”, it stated:
A recent comprehensive study has found, however, that both pregnancy and maternity are also times when women can face increased discrimination in the workplace.
The study of more than 3,200 women, which was conducted by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in the UK, found that 11 per cent of the women interviewed reported having been dismissed, made compulsorily redundant where others were not, or treated so poorly that they felt they had little choice but to leave their jobs.
The survey’s authors suggest that if replicated across the whole of the population, it could mean that up to 54,000 women may be forced out of the workplace in Britain each year.
From December 2, 2014, in an article headlined “Pregnancy is a full-time job for working women”, it stated:
Up to 30 per cent of women feel they have been treated unfairly during pregnancy, according to a national survey of pregnancy at work published in 2011 by the HSE Crisis Pregnancy Programme and the Equality Authority.
At its most extreme, this involved dismissal, which 5 per cent of women reported. Others felt they had lost out on salary, bonuses or promotion, had endured unpleasant comments from managers and/or co-workers, or had been discouraged from exercising their right to attend antenatal appointments during work time.
And so to the obvious question.
Given The Irish Times’ pronounced and indisputable consternation over the amount of discrimination new and expectant mothers face in the workplace, has the paper of record reported the judgement from the case that involves themselves?
Of course not.
From top: Editorial in yesterday’s Sunday Times, and Professor Chris Fitzpatrick, former master of the Coombe hospital
You may recall the plans to move the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street to a site next to St Vincent’s University Hospital so that they can share a campus in Elm Park, Dublin.
Yesterday the Sunday Times reported that the Religious Sisters of Charity-owned St Vincent’s Healthcare Group (SVHG) is demanding that the National Maternity Hospital agrees to “become a branch of its corporate structure” before allowing the planned co-location to go ahead.
Further to this, Professor and consultant obstetrician/gynaecologist at the Coombe Hospital in Dublin Chris Fitzpatrick, spoke to Keelin Shanley on Today with Seán O’Rourke.
During their discussion, Professor Fitzpatrick said:
“I think that in terms of St Vincent’s Hospital, in the interests of patient safety that, in the context of co-location that the National Maternity Hospital should remain a clinical and corporate entity. Now there are huge advantages in relation to St Vincent’s Hospital taking on board the National Maternity Hospital, in terms of providing the full range of comprehensive care, from birth right through to old age. I think they are huge advantages in terms of the research, education and training synergies. But in the interest of patient safety, and with the greatest respect St Vincent’s Hospital do not have a track record in providing maternity and neonatal services, I think in the interest of patient safety that the National Maternity Hospital should be in a position to retain its corporate and clinical governance structures. In the interest of patient safety and I think that is the, that is to the forefront of all of these considerations.”
“…There’s been a long track record of underinvestment and de-prioritisation of services for mothers and babies. Moving into a big adult complex, healthcare complex, where there are competitive demands, I think it is really important that decisions made in relation to care being provided for mothers and babies are made by those who are best equipped to make those decisions…and these cases have been highlighted in the media recently.”
“There are also increasing ethical considerations that need to be taken into account in relation to complex issues in pregnancy. And I think, in the interest of mothers, that those decisions at a clinical and corporate level are best taken by those who have a long experience in making those decisions and providing those services… and that experience does not exist in general hospitals.”
“In relation to gynaecology services, where women are accessing gynaecology services in general hospitals, in Vincent’s, in James’s, in the Mater, because of competitive demands, many women are now actually moving from those hospitals into the maternity hospitals simply because of the fact that these services have been de-prioritised on the adult services.”
“…This project is ready to go to planning. I think the taxpayer and also mothers and women will not tolerate business issues bogging down a process that should be accelerated.”
Listen back in full here
Work taking place on the LXV building at the corner of Stephen’s Green and Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2 last October
Denis O’Brien took advantage of a new tax-efficient legal entity established by the government last year when he sold a landmark building on St Stephen’s Green in Dublin for a reported €30m profit.
O’Brien reportedly sold the LXV building, on the site of Canada House, for €85m last month.
A Sunday Times investigation has revealed that on May 25 O’Brien transferred the ownership of the LXV building into an Irish Collective Asset-management Vehicle (ICAV), a legal structure established by the government two months earlier to attract corporate investment funds to Ireland.
The Real Estate Development and Investment Fund ICAV was set up by William Fry solicitors, which acts for both O’Brien and Fieldsville, the company owned by Catherine O’Brien, the billionaire’s wife. Fieldsville was responsible for developing the six-storey high LXV block on the corner of Earlsfort Terrace, which is almost complete.
Revenue officials are investigating the operation of a new tax-efficient corporate vehicle designed for the funds industry, which is instead being used for property investments.
.. On Thursday, Michael Noonan, the finance minister, responded to questions about ICAVs tabled by Pearse Doherty, Sinn Fein’s finance spokesman, and their use by [Denis] O’Brien in a property deal.
Doherty stated this had resulted “in the exchequer being deprived of corporation tax, income tax and capital gains tax earned on profits from source assets”.
Noonan revealed the Revenue Commissioners have told him they are “currently examining recent media coverage concerning the use of investment funds for property investments. Should these investigations uncover tax-avoidance schemes or abuse, which erodes the tax base and causes reputational issues for the state, then appropriate action will be taken and any necessary legislative changes required will be considered”.
[Denis] O’Brien did not respond to questions relating to his use of an ICAV. The shareholders for the ICAV used by O’Brien are two William Fry trust companies. The firm regularly acts for O’Brien in tax cases.
Yesterday’s Sunday Times.
Derek B writes:
It is striking that the Charlie Hebdo shootings was against freedom of speech but those that question aspects of the events of that day, not least the suicide of one of the leading investigators, are ridiculed. I don’t agree with Jim Corr about everything (The Corrs’ cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams remains a sore point) but I would urge people to have a look at some of the eveidence that is coming out about what happened in Paris and examine the official narrative….