Dublin's Gate Theatre has said anyone who wishes to discuss concerns about issues of sexual harassment or abuse of power should contact them directly.

Yesterday, the theatre announced it was appointing an independent professional HR advisor to deal with any such issues that may be reported to it.

It said anyone employed or contracted by the Gate should contact them directly.

Last night, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it would be right and appropriate for people who have been sexually harassed to come forward.

Speaking to Irish journalists while on a trip to the west coast of the United States, Mr Varadkar said coming forward requires a degree of bravery, but also empowers others to do the same.

He said those who may have been afraid to come forward in the past may be empowered to do so when they see others coming forward.

However, the Taoiseach cautioned that counterbalance is necessary in understanding that "an allegation is an allegation".

He said people had a right to due process, as well as having their good name protected.

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Last week, a number of Irish theatre organisations, including the Gate, released a statement saying they noted developments and allegations in the entertainment industries in the US and UK.

That statement said the organisations strongly condemned sexual harassment and abuse of power in the theatre in Ireland and internationally, and that this kind of behaviour was always utterly inappropriate.

It said theatres, like any work environment, needed to be safe spaces for everyone, and the organisations said they were committed to supporting those who speak out and to listen closely and carefully when they do.

Shortly after that a woman published a blog post in which she made allegations of inappropriate behaviour against a figure in the Irish theatre world.