"CLRG confirms the first disciplinary hearings commenced last week," a spokesperson for the worldwide competitive Irish dance organization told IrishCentral on Thursday, August 31.
"We will provide a statement once these have completed.
"We will not be providing a running commentary while these are ongoing."
The spokesperson added: "Following the Extraordinary General Meeting on 29 July, CLRG will decide over the coming months what actions will result from the recommendations in the Sia Partners report.
"CLRG’s Outreach & Development Committee has been tasked with reviewing the report, evaluating and addressing the findings, pillars and recommendations to facilitate further discussion."
Last October, An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG), the oldest and largest competitive Irish dance organization in the world, confirmed that it had launched an investigation after a complaint, seen by IrishCentral and circulated on social media, implicated at least 12 Irish dance teachers and or adjudicators in asking for certain placements and favors before Irish dance competitions even began. Some of the favors requested were sexual in nature.
An independent investigation recommended in December that 44 cases be moved to "full disciplinary hearings." The names of the people involved in the disciplinary hearings have not been made public by CLRG.
In February, an Irish High Court ruled that while CLRG's disciplinary process should proceed, one teacher and adjudicator, Amanda Hennigan, should have her suspension halted.
Following a competitive tendering process, CLRG announced in March that it had appointed global management firm Sia Partners to conduct a complete review of its organizational processes and structures.
Sia Partners embarked on a strategic audit of CLRG’s constitution, entire organizational structure, adjudication and competition rules and regulations, disciplinary procedures, and practices, in line with Motions 2 and 3 agreed at CLRG’s December Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM.)
In May, CLRG announced it underwent its "largest change in elected representatives ever" at its Annual General Members meeting. Sandra Connick became the Chairperson and Mary Sweeney and Carmel Doyle became Vice-Chairpersons.
A day later, CLRG confirmed it had begun the process of serving books of evidence to many individuals facing a disciplinary hearing.
The cases will be heard by an independent External Disciplinary Panel "in the coming weeks," the spokesperson said in May.
CLRG said in May that it had developed an "enhanced set of disciplinary procedures and practices" that allow the External Disciplinary Panel to hear CLRG disciplinary cases, address the differing degrees of misconduct, account for the international spread of cases to be heard, and permit legal representation.
Addressing the allegation of wrongdoing that emerged last year remains a key priority for CLRG, the spokesperson said.
In July, CLRG said the report by Sia Partners was complete and would be considered at the July 29 EGM and that a detailed summary of the report would be distributed to all CLRG Registrants after the EGM.
According to the Irish Times, the Sia Partners report found an “overall lack of trust” within CLRG and that the organization’s complaint process was “not trusted.”
CLRG lacked a “clear vision,” the report said, and needed to become more “dancer centric.”
Concerns were raised about the “variation” in how rules were applied between regions and schools, especially in competitions.
The report said “unwanted behaviors” by some were “negatively impacting” the culture of the governing organization.
The report recommended hiring a professional chief executive officer or a chief operations officer to run the organization.
There should be a stronger code of conduct, as well as a focus on how to change “elements of the culture that no longer serve the organisation," the report said, according to the Irish Times.
The report also recommended the number of elected members be cut by at least 40 percent.