Transgender Irish dancers can compete in categories matching their gender identity, governing body rules

The decision follows weeks of consideration by An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha

Irish dance organisation will hold an extraordinary general meeting today in Belfast
A debate on transgender entrants being able to compete in categories matching their gender identity has been taking place in the Irish dancing world.

The governing body for Irish dancing has ruled that transgender dancers can compete in categories matching their gender identity.

An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG) made the ruling this week following consideration of a legal opinion from the Bar of Ireland.

CLRG chairperson Sandra Connick said in a memo to members that there had been “considerable internal and external discussion” on the subject in recent months, the Irish Independent reported.

“As a world-wide organisation welcoming dancers from many different backgrounds, CLRG is committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for every dancer in our community,” she said.

“However, we understand the matter is a divisive subject that generates strong opinions and CLRG has been listening to the views of all teachers, dancers and parents, while also seeking professional legal, reputational and peer organisation advice on the subject.”

There had been calls from some parents to ban some dancers from categories matching their gender identity after a teenage transgender girl from the US qualified for the upcoming Irish Dancing World Championships, which will be held in Glasgow, Scotland.

CLRG members recently took part in a took part in a “transgender educational forum” event, which examined research on the performance of trans dancers and the impact on competitions.

New inclusivity policy to reflect the position on trans competitors will be voted on at the body’s annual meeting in May