Local woman speaks out on harassment ordeal at NMI
A DAVIDSTOWN based yoga teacher and former archaeologist has slammed the National Museum of Ireland (NMI) for their handling of a complaint of sexual harassment that she made against a colleague over ten years ago.
Adrienne Corless from The Leap, Davidstown, was motivated to speak out about her own experience having read about the brave women who highlighted alleged inappropriate conduct by former Gate Theatre artistic director Michael Colgan. The daughter of historian Catherine Corless who uncovered the Tuam babies scandal, Adrienne lives locally with her husband Colm Moriarty from Bree.
Over the weekend, Ms Corless told the Irish Independent that, despite the fact that an independent investigation found that she had been repeatedly sexually harassed by a male colleague, he received only a minor reprimand and was allowed to keep his job. Ms Corless departed the National Museum of Ireland in 2012 after the management decided not to renew her contract and, to add insult to injury, she was asked by a senior official to do ‘a handover’ of the project she had been working on to the very man who had sexually harassed her. Last February, a decade on from the harassment investigation, the man was finally suspended by the NMI after the Irish Independent published details of the case.
Ms Corless outlined how the harassment ranged from kissing her on the forhead and cheek to, frequently putting his arm around her and ‘touching her buttocks’ on a couple of occasions. A formal complaint was made in 2006 and during the course of the investigation, the man admitted that Ms Corless had been ‘a foil for his fantasies’ and that he had been guilty of ‘unhealthy thoughts’ while working with her.
‘The disciplinary action taken against him was so mild and so minor. He should have been fired,’ Ms Corless said. ‘I feel the system was set up to support him, rather than me. I became the casualty.’