Irish dance rocked by major allegations of competition manipulation involving dance teachers and judges

THE renowned global organization that governs Irish dance has been rocked by allegations of competition manipulation and fraud.

n Coimisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha (CLRG) is dealing with its biggest alleged cheating scandal, which has seen some of Ireland’s most successful and respected dance teachers and schools accused of rigging competitions for their own students.

The CLRG, the largest and oldest Irish dance organization in the world, has now announced that it has appointed a former Court of Appeal judge to oversee an investigation into allegations of fraud.

Screenshots of text conversations showing 12 Irish dance teachers either soliciting or offering fixed competitions are understood to have been turned over to the CLRG in July.

Separately, the Irish Independent has seen other screenshots, not yet shared with the CLRG, which appear to imply at least six other teachers.

The dance teachers, some of whom were based on the island of Ireland, asked for Feiseanna and offered to fix her.

In one instance, a dance teacher and a competition judge apparently exchanged sexual favors for higher scores.

The CLRG said its ethics committee had “received allegations with evidence of several serious violations of our code of conduct.”

“Such unethical behavior cannot and will not be tolerated by this organization,” it said.

The CLRG said that because of the “potential scale” of the allegations, it hired a former Court of Appeals judge “to oversee and oversee the immediate investigation of these matters.” You will have full and open access to the CLRG’s resources and records.”

It added: “The process will no doubt be difficult and arduous, but this grossly unethical behavior must be eradicated from our competitions, dance schools and government organizations.

“A Coimisiún considers such violations as gross misconduct. Any registered member found to be engaging in such practices will be subject to due and full due process in accordance with our published disciplinary procedures.

“This process has already begun and the principles of natural justice apply. To ensure the integrity of the process, no further comments will be made until it is complete.”

Irish dance teachers host dance competitions, from Feiseanna to major events like All Irelands and the Worlds.

It is understood that one of the dance teachers allegedly involved had previously been accused of tampering with scores at competitions.

The CLRG is recognized internationally as the guardian of Irish dancing.

In response to a number of inquiries from the Irish Independent, it said it was “regrettable that the matter has now been aired publicly so that the CLRG’s own investigations into the matter are not compromised”.

It said: “We are aware of allegations against a number of members circulating on social media. Claims without evidence are just that – claims.

“All complaints to Coiste Faire will be treated confidentially pending investigation and possible disciplinary action. It is unfortunate that anyone has chosen to breach that confidentiality, which could deter complaints regarding this or future allegations of wrongdoing.”

The texts do not mention that money is exchanged.

Current and former Irish dance teachers and competitors, who spoke to the Irish Independent on condition of anonymity, said a school with a good reputation for success could bring in more fees.

The Irish Independent also attempted to contact the 18 dance teachers identified in the screenshots. A dance teacher responded, claiming that newspaper was “definitely wrong.”

After the Irish Independent sent back screenshots of a conversation in which the same teacher discussed feis correction for his students, the teacher stopped responding. Irish dance rocked by major allegations of competition manipulation involving dance teachers and judges

Fry Electronics Team

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