Irish dance group leader at center of cheating allegations survives no-confidence vote

The leader of the Irish dance group embroiled in a global cheating scandal has survived a no-confidence motion.

Ames McCutcheon, the leader of a Coimisiún le Rinci Gaelacha, has retained his role as head of the beleaguered organization, but at an Extraordinary General Assembly in Belfast on Saturday there was overwhelming support for a thorough and branded review of the rules, ethics, disciplinary procedures, and organizational structure of the largest and oldest Irish dance organization in the world

The EGM’s CLRG to investigate the fallout of an alleged cheating scandal at the heart of Ireland’s biggest and oldest dance competition.

According to the CLRG, 56 delegates attended the meeting. Irish dance teachers around the world had criticized the decision to hold the meeting in person and not allow CLRG members around the world who could only attend online.

Four motions were voted on in a private ballot. A motion had called for the immediate resignation of CLRG chairman James McCutcheon. The motion was defeated by 65.5 votes against and 34.5 votes in favour.

Three other motions were all accepted by the meeting. The overwhelming majority of members supported a thorough review of the CLRG, which has been heavily criticized for its handling of allegations of fraud.

Ninety-eight percent of delegates said that the CLRG should “supply all related relevant expertise needed from an independent, reputable and relevant change management consultancy to conduct a strategic review of the CLRG, its constitution, the overall organizational structure including all its constituents and stakeholders and… finance report.”

Almost all delegates – 93 per cent – backed a motion to revise the judging and competition rules and regulations and disciplinary procedures at one of the most prestigious Irish dance organizations in the world. The same motion also said that the CLRG should “review practices for managing risk, grievance procedures and highlighting deficiencies or errors and make recommendations to ensure the fairness and protection of Irish dance competitions worldwide”.

Another motion, supported by 73 per cent of the vote, said that more detail should be provided on the grounds for disciplinary proceedings and sanctions against Irish dance teachers and judges.

“CLRG is working hard to restore and rebuild trust in the organization following the events of the past few months. This is being undertaken with the utmost seriousness and determination, which was reinforced by today’s EGM votes,” said a spokesman for the CLRG.

“EGM has provided a platform for elected delegates representing registrants around the world for open and constructive discussions about the challenges our organization faces.”

“The outcome of the private vote provides a clear mandate for the direction the organization will now take. CLRG is fully committed to implementing the agreed changes.”

“We look forward to updating members on our progress and meeting again at our CLRG meeting in January.”

Last week it emerged that over forty Irish dance teachers and judges are now facing disciplinary action as part of a global investigation into a culture of cheating in the sport and arts form.

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

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 to review cases of cheating, both recent and historic reported to the CLRG since the global alleged fraud scandal came to light. Irish dance group leader at center of cheating allegations survives no-confidence vote

Fry Electronics Team

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