March 24, 2023

A dance juror embroiled in the competition and sexual favors price scandal that has rocked the international Irish dance scene has also been at the center of a child abuse investigation, the Irish Mail on Sunday can reveal.

It has also emerged that the alleged abuser was allowed to continue teaching and judging dance competitions after details of the case emerged – involving three dancers, two of whom were minors when they were allegedly abused.

A source familiar with the case told the MoS: “There were three cases and confidentiality agreements were involved when the cases were resolved.

“To my knowledge there are no pending cases related to this person, but I am not surprised that this person is mentioned in allegations of Feis fixing and inducements allegedly presented to judges so that certain competitors have won and others lost.” .

“These kids involved in Irish dance are pushing themselves really hard and now they’re finding out what was supposedly going on behind the scenes. That is sad.’

A scandal over price fixing and sexual favors for prizes has rocked the international Irish dance scene (file image of Irish dance)

Text messages between teachers whose students entered an Irish dance championship and judges appear to show them regular places in the competition – including in exchange for sexual favors

The judge involved in the sexual assault case is not among those whose text messages were published this week.

The international governing body for Irish dance declined to answer questions this weekend about the sexual abuse case, which was settled last September.

An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha also declined to answer questions about why the dance judge and teacher at the center of the matter was allowed to continue teaching and judging feiseanna.

The CLRG was one of a number of defendants named in the sexual abuse case brought in the US state of New Jersey in December 2019. The other defendants named were the Irish Dance Teacher’s Association of North America, the Irish Dance Teacher’s Association of Mid-Atlantic Region, the Irish Dance Teacher’s Association of New England, the Irish Dance Teacher’s Association of Eastern Region, the North American Feis Commission and North American Championship Inc.

The three who filed civil lawsuits seeking damages did so because they did not want their identities to be made public. They are mentioned in court documents with the surname Doe.

Official court documents – seen by the MoS – state ‘the matter in the above proceeding has been amicably adjusted by and between the parties, it is hereby stipulated and agreed that the same be done and is hereby dismissed without charge’ against the biased defendants . This usually means that the case has been settled. The MoS understands that as part of the deal, all involved have signed nondisclosure agreements.

The revelations will come as feiseanna takes place here and in Scotland this weekend. The Feis Erin Championships took place yesterday in Charleville, Co. cork. The two-day event continues today.

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Meanwhile, today concludes the four-day All-Scotland Championships, which kicked off at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow.

It emerged this week that the CLRG, the governing body that regulates Irish dance worldwide, had appointed a former Court of Appeal judge to investigate whether there was a conspiracy between teachers and judges to determine feis results and whether judges had incentives. were offered to favor certain competitors over others.

The Irish dance industry has become a lucrative business, and high-profile wins at major feiseanna can provide a valuable springboard for young people aspiring to become professional dancers and teachers.

However, an investigation was ordered after a series of very embarrassing text messages were sent by a disillusioned American dance teacher at the CLRG.

In the highly competitive world of Irish dance, schools around the world compete for prizes – with those who get top prizes asking more for places in their institutions (file image of Irish dance competition)

Leaked text messages have been forwarded from a whistleblower on the US East Coast to an investigation in Ireland ordered by Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar

Details of the lyrics were revealed this week by RTÉ’s Liveline program and our sister newspaper, the Irish Daily Mail.

Earlier this week, the CLRG regretted that the scandal had been made public and claimed it could harm its investigation.

It wrote in a letter to its members: “These allegations… initially leaked on social media and picked up by the mainstream media, causing untold unrest and suffering… across the dance world with calls for immediate sanctions against the alleged perpetrators.’

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They reminded members that they “have policies and procedures for dealing with such matters that are available to everyone in the Disciplinary Policy under the ‘Rules’ section of the website.”

The email added: “Please note that any attempt to short-circuit established procedures could seriously jeopardize the ongoing investigation and any disciplinary findings.” Your continued patience while a fair trial is followed is appreciated.”

The CLRG said its ethics committee received the allegations in July, along with supporting documentation, of several serious violations of their code of conduct.

“Such unethical behavior cannot and will not be tolerated by this organization.

“The process will undoubtedly be difficult and arduous, but this grossly unethical behavior must be eliminated from our competitions, dance schools and governing bodies.”

The CLRG said it would not comment further until this process is complete.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the government could intervene as the scandal could cause ‘reputational damage’ for Ireland.