The Artistic Director of the Abbey Theatre, Ben Barnes, survived a motion of no confidence at an emergency meeting of the National Theatre Society last night.

Mr Barnes faced the motion amid criticism of his handling of the Dublin theatre's artistic direction, but it was overwhelmingly defeated.

A proposal to postpone the management rescue plan, which involves laying off a third of the Abbey's 90 staff, was agreed by the members.

The proposal was put forward by former SIPTU President, Des Geraghty, who is a council member of the society.

Afterwards, he said a working group was to be set up to look at all the issues involved.