BBC halts production of Irish dance documentary following allegations of competition manipulation

The BBC has halted production of a documentary on Irish dancing following “serious allegations” of competition manipulation.

The documentary, a five-part series titled Point Perfect, was pulled from the network during early production.

An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG), the renowned global organization that governs Irish dance, was rocked by an alleged cheating scandal in October.

The CLRG confirmed yesterday that its independent investigation into alleged fraud has now recommended that 44 cases be subject to “full disciplinary hearings”.

Belfast-based production company Stellify Media was hired by the BBC to produce the series.

In a statement issued to Independent.ie, a BBC spokesman said it was not possible for the series to go ahead as planned.

“During early production for the BBC Arts/NI co-production ‘Point Perfect’, there were serious allegations in the press about aspects of Irish dance dancing,” the announcer said.

“Some of these allegations are currently being investigated by the relevant authorities. Given this broader context, the BBC cannot go ahead with the series as planned.

“We would like to thank Stellify for their hard work on the series and look forward to working with them on future projects.”

The Irish Independent first revealed allegations of fraud against 12 Irish dance teachers and judges were referred to the CLRG last summer.

In September, former Court of Appeal judge Mr Justice Michael Peart was tasked with determining whether those accused of fraud had a case to answer.

In a statement Thursday, the CLRG said that “the independent investigative team investigating allegations of misconduct within the CLRG has recommended that 44 cases under review be subject to full disciplinary hearings.

“This follows a thorough consideration of all complaints, grievances and any supporting evidence filed by members by the investigative team led by Mr Justice Michael Peart, a retired Court of Appeal judge.”

“All persons involved have been informed and suspended from deciding the CLRG competition while the disciplinary process is ongoing,” it said.

The dance organization, which is said to have over 2,000 members around the world, said it is currently recruiting “experienced” and “outside” people to sit on its disciplinary committee and review cases.

It is understood that a large number of allegations of fraud, both recent and historical, have been reported to the CLRG since the global alleged fraud scandal broke.

“We would like to reiterate that CLRG considers all allegations of misconduct with the utmost seriousness. We look forward to the External Disciplinary Panel starting its work and addressing these issues as soon as possible,” said a spokesman for the CLRG.

The revelation that the investigation into cheating in the Irish dance world is deepening comes ahead of a big CLRG meeting on Saturday.

The dance body is holding an extraordinary general meeting in Belfast on Saturday to address teachers’ concerns about the way the CLRG has dealt with the cheating scandal.

https://www.independent.ie/news/bbc-stops-production-of-irish-dancing-documentary-following-allegations-of-competition-fixing-42209115.html BBC halts production of Irish dance documentary following allegations of competition manipulation

Fry Electronics Team

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