In an interview this morning on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Grace Dyas said that misuse of power was an open secret in Irish public life.
In the interview today with Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh, Ms Dyas said that she did not rush into making public allegations against the former Director of the Gate Theatre, Michael Colgan, but that she sought advice, and sat with it for a while, before speaking out.
She said: “I saw with the #metoo campaign, in America or in England, people were saying this person did this to me when I was this age, but when I looked at Ireland, people weren’t giving names.
“It was like an open secret that everyone has, it’s everywhere in public life in Ireland. Like the open secrets about the Catholic Church.
“Everyone knew the priests were abusing their power, people saw the Magdalene Laundries on the street, but they were afraid to speak out. That time, it was fear of God and the priests, but now it’s fear of the law.”
In the interview, she said that she herself was reluctant to speak out initially for the very same reasons, but that she then investigated, and sought advice, before going public.
Ms Dyas said: “I said to myself, is this real, this fear, or is it a type of Orwellian trick? And I found out then that it had no basis, the fear, it was false.”
She said that she wanted to be part of the #metoo conversation, and that this spurred her to speak out.
She also said in the interview that misuse of power is widespread, and that there was a need for better structures to combat it.
She told RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta: “It’s everywhere – in the Government, in the media, in the universities, in the arts, in the law, in science, everywhere.
“And on top of that, if you’re a woman, you have to deal with the inequality that is everywhere in life. We need better structures in place to prevent misuse.”
You can listen to the full interview below.