Sinn Féin TD for Louth Imelda Munster has written to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Culture, Arts, Tourism, Sports and Media asking that the matter of so-called “feis-fixing” is discussed at their meeting next week. Deputy Munster is a member of the Committee.
Her request comes after allegations of competition fixing at Irish dancing events emerged this week.
Teachta Munster said:
“This week allegations emerged that at least 12 dance teachers both in Ireland and in other countries had conspired to ensure that certain dancers scored high points in feiseanna at international tournaments.
“It was further alleged that certain inducements were involved.
“These allegations relate to competitions under Irish dancing’s biggest governing body, An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG).
“These are very serious allegations and are very alarming in nature.
“I am glad to see that there will be an investigation into this, however we need CLRG to provide more information around the terms of reference of that investigation as at the moment the detail is very scant.
“These allegations have the potential to damage Irish dancing’s reputation globally, and therefore we need a thorough investigation.
“It is also important that anyone who takes part in a competitive activity like Irish dancing can expect fairness and transparency, and that everyone has a fair shot when they take part in a competition.
“I have written to the Joint Committee on Culture asking that this matter is discussed next week, as while the Committee and the Department don’t have a regulatory role in Irish dancing, we have a duty to protect Irish dancing’s reputation given that it is an important part of our culture.”