My Department has been informed of new allegations of bullying and harassment in the National Museum. The Deputy will appreciate that I cannot discuss individual cases. The Deputy will also be aware that the National Museum of Ireland is a statutory body under the National Cultural Institutions Act 1997 and I have no responsibility for the day to day operations of the museum.
While I cannot get involved in human resource matters, which are a matter for the executive and the board of the museum, my Department has provided additional support, including sanction for three specific HR positions and two temporary positions for the corporate services area of the museum.
The chair and the new board were appointed in July 2016 and are implementing change in the museum, as well as preparing new plans to improve the museum's services to the public over the coming years. My Department and I are supportive of these plans.
Separately, in light of allegations of abuse of power and sexual harassment elsewhere in the arts sector, my Department has identified a number of actions to be taken in relation to bodies reporting directly to my Department, including our national cultural institutions. These include arranging dedicated workshops for board members and senior staff of bodies reporting to the Department dealing with governance. There will be a particular emphasis on issues relating to bullying, abuse of power and sexual harassment in the workplace.
I consider that the support for the board, which I have outlined, is the most appropriate way for my Department to deal with issues of bullying and harassment.