Two senior members of Irish dancing body quit in wake of alleged ‘feis-fixing’ controversy. Irish Dancing is in Tatters, across the World, Due to Corruption, and Sexual Favours; its Being going on, for Decades?

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Two senior members of Irish dancing organisation An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG) have resigned after the body was embroiled in a global scandal over alleged cheating.

The Irish Independent understands Órfhlaith Ní Bhriain, the vice-chair of the CLRG, and vetting officer Seán Hennigan stepped down following a meeting on Tuesday night.

Two sources who were at the meeting confirmed the resignations.

There is no suggestion that either Mr Hennigan or Ms Ní Bhriain have been accused of being involved in alleged cheating.

The CLRG is the world’s largest and oldest Irish dancing body, and was also the most prestigious.

The Irish Independent recently revealed that in July, it was given evidence that appeared to show about a dozen dance teachers and judges cheating.

It did not launch an investigation into the allegations until last month, when it learned they were about to be made public.

Irish dance teachers who were named in the evidence were allowed to continue adjudicating at large and small dance competitions, even after the CLRG became aware of screenshots that appeared to show them engaged in so-called feis-fixing.

Since the revelations became public, a number of current and former teachers have come forward to say cheating has always been an open secret in the world of Irish dancing.

There is growing disquiet among teachers both in Ireland and abroad about the way the CLRG has handled the controversy, which is now the biggest scandal ever to hit Irish dancing.

The current chairperson of the body is James McCutcheon, a dance teacher from Scotland.

Asked yesterday if he was considering his position in light of the controversy, he said: “As you know, we are not making any comments at this time due to disciplinary procedure.”

Asked if the CLRG would accept an invitation to appear before the Oireachtas committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport and Media, he said: “As I have stated before, there is no comment from us at this time. OK? Thanks very much. Bye bye.”

It is understood the Oireachtas committee has sent correspondence to the CLRG, and has not yet received a response.

Last month, the CLRG appointed a former Court of Appeal judge to consider the allegations of cheating.

It is understood that Mr Justice Micheal Peart was asked to give an opinion on whether or not there was enough evidence to merit a disciplinary process.

In a letter to its members last week, the CLRG said it had started a disciplinary process against a number of dance teachers.

The controversy has prompted the Irish Dance Teachers Association of North America (IDTANA) to change its rules to eliminate the opportunity for judges to cheat.

A spokesperson said the current controversy had undermined “confidence in Irish dancing”.

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