Signatories of a letter which expressed concern at the direction taken by the Abbey Theatre have started a crowdfunding appeal to raise money for an independent mediator to facilitate meetings between them and the theatre.

To date one full panel meeting has taken place between the signatories and the theatre while four out of five further bilateral meetings (divided into particular areas of the sector) have also taken place.

The representative panel said they believe that in order to move forward they need an independent mediator present who will chair the meeting and pinpoint concrete solutions, with timelines for completion agreed by both parties.

As they are working in a voluntary capacity they said they will crowdfund for a suitable person.

The group also said it had requested financial help from the Arts Council to cover this cost but have to date been refused.

In a statement, the Arts Council said it had told the group that it did not think it appropriate for the Arts Council to nominate an external mediator for the meetings with the Abbey, but instead suggested that perhaps there is someone objective and outside of the direct process that the Abbey and the signatories might together agree would support them both to continue the dialogue. 

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