Ireland’s largest Irish dancing organisation has admitted it has ordered an inquiry into allegations of results tampering and sexual favours involving judges and teachers.
Ireland’s largest daily newspaper, the Irish Independent, followed up by the Irish Daily Mail, today published news of the allegations and the planned investigation by An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG) generally known as An Coimisiún.
It is the largest ever alleged cheating scandal.
Some of the most successful and well regarded Irish dance teachers and schools will want to protect their reputations against allegations of of fixing competitions for their own students.
“Such unethical behaviour cannot and will not be tolerated by this organisation,”
There are many Irish dancing bodies and world championships but the CLRG is the largest and oldest Irish dancing body in the world.
It said it has appointed a former Irish Appeal Court judge to oversee an investigation into the cheating allegations.
The Irish Independent today published information involving screenshots of text conversations showing 12 Irish dance teachers either asking for, or offering to, fix competitions.
They were handed over to the CLRG in July.
The Irish Independent said it has additional screenshots, not yet shared with the CLRG, which appear to implicate at least another six teachers.
It says the dancing teachers were both asking for and offering to fix feiseanna and ‘in one case, a dance teacher and a competition judge appeared to be exchanging sexual favours for higher scores’.
The CLRG said that its ethics committee had “received allegations, with supporting documentation, of several grievous breaches of our Code of Conduct.”
“Such unethical behaviour cannot and will not be tolerated by this organisation,” it said.
The CLRG said that due to the “potential extent” of the allegations, it had hired a former Court of Appeal judge “to oversee and supervise the immediate investigation into these matters. They will have full and open access to the resources and records of CLRG.
“The process will no doubt be difficult and arduous, but this grossly unethical behaviour must be eliminated from our competitions, dance schools and governing organisations.
“An Coimisiún regards such breaches to be Gross Misconduct. Any registered member found to be engaged in such practices will be subject to due and full process under our published Disciplinary Procedures.
“This process has already started and the principles of natural justice apply. To ensure the integrity of the process and until it is complete, no further comments will be made.”
The newspaper said one of the dance teachers alleged to have been involved had been previously accused of interfering with scores at competitions.