An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG), the largest and oldest competitive Irish dance organization in the world, has asked an additional number of adjudicators to temporarily step down amidst its investigation into allegations of cheating.
“We are deeply concerned at recent controversies which have cast a shadow over many aspects of Irish dancing,” a spokeswoman for the CLRG told the Irish Independent this week.
“We take all allegations or complaints extremely seriously and are taking steps to ensure they are dealt with robustly.
“To that end, we can confirm an additional number of adjudicators have been asked to temporarily step down from any positions held while processes are ongoing.
“We continue to encourage anyone with evidence of wrongdoing or with complaints to contact email@example.com and we assure them of confidentiality.”
CLRG has not published the names of the additional adjudicators who have been asked to temporarily step down. The organization has previously said it is "restricted from commenting on the names of those involved and the nature of any allegations" and that those involved have "a right to clear their name and to offer a defence against these allegations."
In early October, it was revealed that CLRG was investigating after it said it received evidence that "identifies individuals allegedly offering various inducements to promote dancers to a higher than deserved placing at particular competitions."
It is understood that roughly a dozen teachers and or adjudicators have been suspended amidst the initial investigation.
The initial complaint, which included screenshots of messages amongst Irish dance teachers and adjudicators, was first lodged with CLRG in July. A file containing the screenshots and the complaint began to circulate online around October 3.
In a statement issued on October 20, CLRG said that it has engaged former Court of Appeal Judge Michael Peart to screen the investigation of official complaints and that the investigation had "moved on to the disciplinary phase." It also published a timeline of the actions it took since receiving the allegations in July.
The Irish Independent reported this week that more historical complaints have been sent to Peart, but complaints that were lodged anonymously are not being investigated.
CLRG says that in order to adjudicate at CLRG-sanctioned events, a person must be "registered and in good standing with An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha as an ADCRG."
The apparent suspension of additional Irish dance adjudicators comes amidst North America's busy 'Oireachtas season,' where each region hosts its preliminary qualifying event.
Further ahead, CLRG's All-Ireland Championships, which draws competitors from all over the world, are set to be hosted in Killarney, Co Kerry from February 12 - February 18, 2023. A list of adjudicators for this major event has yet to be published.