The 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Irish dance organization An Coimisiún le Rinci Gaelacha (CLRG) took place last weekend in Dublin.
The AGM was the first meeting of CLRG following bi-annual elections to select 113 Members to represent its 2,300 registrants / teachers across the world, a spokesperson for the organization said today, Thursday, May 18.
Over 30 individuals were elected as members for the first time.
Approximately 33% of the Buanchoiste, 50% of committee chairs, and 75% of officer roles have been filled by new members, representing the largest change in CLRG elected representatives ever, a spokesperson said.
(CLRG’s Buanchoiste includes the chairs of each committee, as well as three additional members. This group meets in between general CLRG meetings as needed, in order to weigh and debate any urgent issues and have the authority to make binding decisions.)
During the AGM, members elected and appointed individuals to several key voluntary roles within CLRG, including Sandra Connick as Chairperson and Mary Sweeney and Carmel Doyle as Vice-Chairpersons.
Connick takes over from James McCutcheon, who survived a motion calling for him to stand down last December.
Members were also provided with a detailed update on the independent strategic review of CLRG’s constitution and organizational structure currently being undertaken by Sia Partners.
“The past year has been extremely challenging for CLRG and all those connected to Irish Dance," a CLRG spokesperson said on Thursday.
"CLRG would like to reassure teachers, dancers, and their parents it’s taking every step to introduce change and ultimately restore faith and trust in the organization.”
“The independent strategic audit of CLRG’s structures and practices by Sia Partners is well underway, with its full report expected later this summer. Its findings and recommendations will provide a clear pathway for the organization to move forward.”
The "largest change in CLRG elected representatives ever" comes as CLRG, the oldest and largest competitive Irish dance organization in the world, continues to grapple with the so-called 'feis-fixing' scandal that erupted last autumn.
CLRG confirmed in October 2022 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 has since recommended that 44 cases be moved to "full disciplinary hearings" which are understood to now be in progress. 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.
In March, CLRG announced that it had appointed global management firm Sia Partners to conduct a complete review of its organizational processes and structures following a competitive tendering process.
Sia Partners are undertaking 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.)
Sia Partners aims to complete the full strategic review, which is now underway, by early July.