CLRG’s Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne (World Irish Dancing Championships) returns to Glasgow, Scotland for the sixth time, running from March 24 -31 this year.

The annual event, the highest level of competition within An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG, The Irish Dancing Commission), will see more than 2,500 Irish dancers compete, traveling from places as far away as Australia, Argentina, and Taiwan.

CLRG estimates that close to 10,000 attendees - including dancers, teachers, families, and spectators - will travel through the doors of Glasgow’s SEC Armadillo over the course of the weeklong competition.

CLRG says that Irish dancers from Under 10 through to senior level will "showcase their talent" in solo, team, and céilí competitions throughout the event.

This year’s Worlds competition will also see the return of Michael Flatley's Freestyle Competition, which was introduced in 2023.

Glasgow has the distinction of being the first city outside of Ireland to host the World Irish Dancing Championships; it has hosted in 2002, 2007, 2010, 2016, 2018, and now the 2024 event.

Commenting, a CLRG spokesperson said: “We are very excited to be heading back to Glasgow for this years’ World Championships.

"Irish dancing has evolved over time and whilst traditional dances are still very much at its core, there is increasing creativity, athleticism, and innovation on show by dancers. 

“The best of the best will be taking to the stage in Glasgow and we look forward to enjoying all this vibrant city has to offer.

“We would like to take this opportunity to wish all those taking part the best of luck and to remind dancers that qualifying for the World Championships is an incredible achievement, and most importantly to enjoy the experience.”

Glasgow’s Lord Provost, Jacqueline McLaren, said: “Glasgow’s renowned for its success hosting world-class events. So, we’re really looking forward to extending a warm welcome to Irish dancers converging on the city from across the planet to compete in the World Irish Dancing Championships.

"Glasgow’s always glad to hold this prestigious competition and this is our sixth time.

"Preparations are well underway. It promises a thrilling spectacle of dancing, sequins, ribbons, music, and stratospheric talent.”

Debbie McWilliams, Director of Live Entertainment at SEC, said: “It’s a great pleasure to host the CLRG World Irish Dancing Championships and to welcome world class performers and their supporters to the SEC Armadillo.

"Glasgow is the perfect location to present this cultural showcase and everyone at the SEC would like to wish the competitors the very best."

This will be the second World Irish Dancing Championships hosted by CLRG since the so-called 'feis fixing' scandal rocked the organization nearly a year and a half ago.

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 recommended in December 2022 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 its latest update, CLRG said in February that the first ten external disciplinary hearings concerning the historical allegations of wrongdoing at Irish dancing competitions will have been heard and concluded by the middle of March.

Books of evidence were being prepared and disciplinary hearings are being scheduled for the remaining cases with the goal of concluding all cases by the summer, CLRG said.

Three disciplinary cases took place last year, with a further four heard in January. An additional three cases are scheduled to be heard by mid-March. 

Once all of the hearings are concluded, the outcomes and any penalties handed down will be communicated in line with CLRG's disciplinary procedures, CLRG said.

How to qualify for CLRG's 2024 World Irish Dancing Championships

As per the 2024 Óireachtas Rince Na Cruinne syllabus, all solo competitors seeking to participate in Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne must have qualified at a Regional or National Oireachtas, at Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne 2023, or at Oireachtas Rince na hÉireann 2024, and have participated at their Regional Oireachtas. World Champions do not have to compete at their Regional Oireachtas, but they are strongly urged to do so.

Ceili teams seeking to participate must have participated at their 2023 Regional Oireachtas in the corresponding age group. It is not necessary for the dancers to be the same at both events, or to have been placed.

There is no requirement for figure dance and dance drama teams to have qualified or participated at regional events in order to be eligible to participate at Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne. 

All competitors must be pupils of teachers who, at the date of entry, are registered with An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha for the year 2023/2024, and are not subject to any rule of An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha preventing them from participating, such as the Restyling Rule, unless an exception has been granted by the Transfer Appeals Board.

Adjudicators for CLRG's 2024 World Irish Dancing Championships

  • Ann Gibbons - Ireland mandated
  • Janice Young - Canada mandated
  • Jenny Wilson-Flower - England mandated
  • John Heinzman - USA mandated
  • Niall O’Leary -USA mandated 
  • Noreen McCutcheon - Scotland mandated
  • Paschal Lyons - Ireland mandated
  • Ronan Morgan - Taiwan mandated
  • Sondra Greene - USA mandated
  • Adam Morris - Australia self-nominated
  • Adrian Walker - Australia self-nominated
  • Bernadette Trainor - England self-nominated
  • Brian McDermott - England self-nominated
  • Christopher McPartland - England self-nominated
  • Donna Reilly-Cannon - Australia self-nominated
  • Eilis McKenna - USA self-nominated
  • Fiona McCafferty Gauthier - Canada self-nominated
  • Irene Hennelly - Ireland self-nominated
  • Jim Mueller - USA self-nominated
  • Kate O’Connor - USA self-nominated
  • Kerrie Connolly - Ireland self-nominated
  • Kerry Anne Broderick - USA self-nominated
  • Lauren Crowe-Mueller - USA self-nominated
  • Lorraine Farrell - Ireland self-nominated
  • Maeve Madden Smith - England self-nominated
  • Mark Adams - Australia self-nominated
  • Mary Honan - Ireland self-nominated
  • Mary Teresa McHugh - England self-nominated
  • Rita Maguire - Australia self-nominated
  • Shannon Thoms - Canada self-nominated