‘It’s like The Godfather’: Irish dancing world hit by cheating allegations

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The ostensibly quaint satellite of Irish dancing has been rocked by allegations of contention fixing and cheating, with immoderate parents and teachers saying determination is simply a codification of omertà akin to The Godfather and The Sopranos.

The Irish Dancing Commission, a governing assemblage known successful Irish arsenic An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG), has appointed a erstwhile justice to analyse claims that salient creation schools and teachers person rigged competitions, it emerged this week.

It is alleged that astatine slightest 12 teachers successful Ireland and different countries conspired to guarantee definite dancers scored highly successful planetary tournaments, known arsenic feiseanna. Dance teachers adjudicate creation competitions, from small, section affairs to planetary events.

The Irish Independent, which broke the story, said successful 1 lawsuit a teacher and a contention justice appeared to beryllium exchanging intersexual favours for higher scores. It quoted insiders who spoke of antithetic scoring patterns astatine competitions and cosy relationships betwixt teachers and judges.

Several parents and teachers, speaking anonymously, told the insubstantial the tight-knit manufacture was similar the mafia, with 1 erstwhile Riverdance prima citing the HBO amusement The Sopranos. A US-based teacher said she was acrophobic to inquire 1 of the allegedly crooked judges for a favour. “Because erstwhile you do, you’re indebted to them for life. It’s similar The Godfather.”

The Dublin-based CLRG said successful a statement that successful July it had received allegations, with supporting documentation, of grievous breaches of its codification of conduct. “Such unethical behaviour cannot and volition not beryllium tolerated by this organisation.”

Because of the imaginable grade of the allegations and to guarantee fairness and transparency it had hired a erstwhile entreaty tribunal justice to investigate, who volition person afloat entree to CLRG records, it said. “The process volition nary uncertainty beryllium hard and arduous, but this grossly unethical behaviour indispensable beryllium eliminated from our competitions, creation schools and governing organisations.”

Any subordinate recovered to person engaged successful gross misconduct volition beryllium taxable to owed and afloat process nether the organisation’s disciplinary procedures, it said. “This process has already started and the principles of earthy justness apply.” The Guardian contacted the CLRG for further remark connected Thursday.

From humble roots successful parish halls, Irish dancing has go a highly competitive, planetary improvement that draws the Irish diaspora and radical with nary Irish heritage.

The CLRG organises Ireland’s determination and nationalist championships arsenic good arsenic the World Irish Dancing Championships, which successful April drew 3,500 dancers to Belfast. There are qualifying competitions successful the US, UK and Australia.

The Irish Independent said screenshots of substance conversations that showed 12 teachers requesting oregon offering to hole competitions were passed to the governing assemblage successful July.

The insubstantial said it had seen further screenshots, not yet shared with the commission, that appeared to implicate astatine slightest six different teachers. The texts made nary notation of payments. However, teachers and competitors said a schoolhouse with a estimation for occurrence tin complaint higher fees.