The honorary degree Trinity awarded to former director of the Gate Theatre Michael Colgan in 2000 is under review. Colgan has been the subject of a series of allegations relating to bullying and abuse of power.
The Gate Theatre appointed this week an independent investigator into allegations made against Colgan. In a statement to the Sunday Business Post, a Trinity spokeswoman said the university took complaints of sexual harassment or bullying very seriously and that Trinity hoped an independent inquiry would be conducted into all the complaints and allegations against Colgan.
“We will await the outcome of that inquiry before any further action is taken by the university in relation to the award of the honorary degree”, she said.
The investigation into Colgan’s behaviour is expected to return with a report in January 2018. Writing in the Independent today, Colgan said: “Realising that I have been responsible for causing distress to some of those with whom I worked so closely with has shocked me, I am truly sorry.”
In an open letter, Irish playwright Grace Dyas became the first person to raise allegations against Colgan. She was followed by other women who made similar allegations of bullying and sexual harassment.
Trinity’s honorary degrees have been awarded to a range of famous individuals. Some of the most recent recipients include activist and singer-songwriter Bob Geldof and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Louise Richardson.