Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Arts, Culture and Heritage, Niamh Smyth has said that Ireland’s artistic reputation risks being severely damaged by the recent allegations of unacceptable behaviour towards female staff members at Dublin’s Gate Theatre.

Deputy Smyth added that: “These claims have rocked to the core the Irish artistic community, and are a major threat to our reputation as a leading artistic nation.

“Every single one of these allegations needs to be investigated, and the women who have made these very serious allegations must be supported and offered counselling and advice.

“As someone who has often frequented the Gate, I was appalled at these revelations, and as someone in regular contact with members of the Irish and international arts community, I am aware that our country’s reputation in the Arts is exceptionally important, was hard earned and must be protected.

“There has to be a zero tolerance approach to bullying and sexual harassment of any kind and it is essential that any person who engages in such behaviour is held to account.

“The arts must be a safe space for everyone involved – that means for both practitioners and for administrators alike. Our objective must be to stamp out behaviour of this type, and ensure that no person, woman or man, feels harassed, intimidated or harassed in their workplace,” concluded Smyth.