The artistic director of the Abbey Theatre has offered an apology to the board of the theatre for an email he sent to international colleagues last week.

The board said in a statement, that following frank and detailed discussions today, Mr Barnes did not wish to maintain criticism of the board in the email.

The statement said Mr Barnes deeply regretted any unintentional damage which may have been caused to the theatre.

Mr Barnes is to work at the Abbey for the remainder of his contract.

Earlier, the board of the Abbey Theatre held a meeting in an emergency session to discuss the email.

At the weekend, the Irish Times published the text of an email Mr Barnes sent after he survived a motion of no confidence at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the National Theatre Society, which runs the Abbey.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism John O'Donoghue, said the minister was aware of the crisis at the Abbey, but could not intervene until a four-week consultation process agreed at last week's EGM was complete.

The spokesman said the Arts Council was in constant communication with the Abbey and that the minister was waiting to hear more from the Arts Council.