An Coimisiúin le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG), the oldest and largest competitive Irish dance organization in the world, has issued an update to its membership after a meeting held yesterday, October 19.
CLRG's update, obtained by IrishCentral, was issued via email and CLRG's website on October 20.
It comes as the organization grapples with explosive allegations of adjudicators and teachers attempting to 'fix' results ahead of CLRG competitions.
The following is the statement issued to membership by CLRG on October 20:
An Coimisiún, the governing body of An Coimisiúin le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG), held an open and productive meeting of its 114 voluntary members last evening [October 19]. Of that 114, approximately 80 were in attendance by video link from all corners of the world.
Every member of An Coimisiún, representing thousands of teachers and adjudicators worldwide, is acutely aware of the ongoing allegations in mainstream and social media. The devastating impact these have had on the integrity of competitions and the standards of our art form - not to mention the negative impact on the mental and emotional wellbeing of individual dancers – cannot be overstated.
The integrity of our competitions has been challenged and we owe it to all competitors, their families, and teachers to restore that integrity.
CLRG has a well-established disciplinary process which is predicated on evidence and is carried out in confidence. A registered member who faces allegations of impropriety has a right to clear their name and to offer a defence against these allegations.
For these reasons and until the disciplinary process is complete, CLRG is restricted from commenting on the names of those involved and the nature of any allegations. An Coimisiún will ensure that the disciplinary process is robust so that those found to have engaged in misconduct are subject to the full impact of that process.
It is for this reason we have engaged former Court of Appeal Judge Michael Peart to screen the investigation of official complaints. As per our published policy, the membership will be advised of outcomes following the conclusion of individual cases.
Regarding disinformation circulating in mainstream and social media alleging that CLRG “sat” on a complaint since July: Please see the timeline of events [below].
Also outlined, for those who may not be aware of it, is the structure of CLRG as set out in the constitution.
Whilst the initial complaint has moved on to the disciplinary phase, we are also in the process of examining how we can better address the concerns of registered teachers and their dancers, and evolve into a more robust and responsive organisation. This is a long-term project and will require reflection by all members and interested parties on the best way forward.
CLRG will issue further statements as significant developments arise. In the meantime, we ask all our members - and the wider public - to exercise caution when making statements on social or mainstream media. To ensure a just outcome, we cannot afford to have our processes undermined by careless and spurious comments, however well-intentioned they may be.
Please feel free to share this statement with parents in your class as needs be. We thank you and all those interested in preserving the integrity of our dance for your patience and understanding through this very difficult and challenging period.
Timeline of events [as per CLRG]
July 28 - August 3, 2022
- Emails with evidence submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Chairperson of Coiste Faire examines the evidence and checks that the names and competitions correspond with actual events.
August 4, 2022
- Chairperson of Coiste Faire emails the Company Secretary of the Council of Management, requesting that an independent enquiry be established as a matter of urgency. She receives an “out of office until 18th August” reply so contacts the Secretary directly by phone.
August 7, 2022
- Company Secretary acknowledges receipt of email.
August 19, 2022
- Company Secretary informs Chairperson of exceptional item for next meeting of the Council scheduled for 16/09/2022.
- Given the seriousness and nature of the allegations, legal advice also sought in interim on the best way to proceed.
- Initial feelers put out to identify appropriate person to lead investigation.
September 8, 2022
- Retired judge is identified, subject to approval by Council of Management and CLRG.
September 16, 2022
- Council of Management meet and approve request, recommending it receives ratification at the next meeting of CLRG
September 25, 2022
- CLRG meet and ratify the recommendation from Council of Management.
September 26, 2022
- Statement issued to worldwide membership confirming developments.
October 4, 2022
- Judge receives the files directly from Chairperson of Coiste Faire. This is the first time that the file, as submitted to the Chairperson of Coiste Faire, has been made available to anyone else.
- Judge begins reviewing documents received.
October 10, 2022
- First official Disciplinary Procedures notification sent to those concerned.
October 11, 2022
- Judge submits his report confirming that a prima facie case exists and recommends a Disciplinary panel is established.
October 12, 2022
- Those concerned are informed and that they are now subject to Paragraph 3.2 of the Disciplinary Procedures:
[a] Where following an investigation into any complaint, a recommendation is made that a disciplinary committee is convened, in the case of any individual elected to An Coimisiún or any of its affiliated bodies, [he/she] will be obliged to temporarily step down from any position held while the process is ongoing. (AGM 2016)
[b] Where an investigation into Gross Misconduct concludes there is sufficient evidence to invoke formal Disciplinary Procedures against any individual, that individual may not make any application to officiate at, or act in any official capacity at, any CLRG registered competition or event until formal Disciplinary Procedures have concluded.
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