Northern Ireland

Private investigator hired by world’s biggest Irish dancing organisation to probe allegations

An investigation has been launched into allegations of attempted Irish dance competition-fixing
An investigation has been launched into allegations of attempted Irish dance competition-fixing An investigation has been launched into allegations of attempted Irish dance competition-fixing

A PRIVATE investigator has been hired by the world’s biggest Irish dancing organisation to probe allegations of attempts to fix competitions.

An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG) has tasked Naughton Consultancy Services to establish if there is "any credible evidence to support the allegations that have been made".

Retired Garda Gabriel O'Gara will lead the investigation.

It comes after the world of Irish dancing was rocked last year by allegations of competition fixing and cheating with claims that prominent dance schools and teachers had rigged competitions.

Teachers, parents and competitors have for years questioned some results of competitions, according to multiple sources. Winning dancers can add to the prestige of schools.

It has now emerged that the CLRG has asked a private investigator to look at allegations relating to the behaviour of two senior Irish dancing figures at two major competitions, one around a decade ago and another around 20 years ago.

In correspondence revealed by The Irish Independent, the investigator has been in contact with a person who repeated the allegations.

"We have been instructed to carry out a fact file in relation to alleged incidents that occurred at events in 2002 and 2014," the investigator said.

"The purpose of this fact file is to establish if there is evidence to support those allegations.

"When we have concluded our investigations we will present our report with our findings to MacHales Solicitors who are acting for An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha.

"That is our role in this process."