Lawsuits alleging sexual abuse in Irish dance community filed in New Jersey

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An Irish dancer competing at the 2014 CLRG World Irish Dancing Championships.Getty Images

Irish dance entities have been accused of decades of sexual abuses, according to new lawsuits

Several lawsuits alleging decades of sexual abuse within Irish dance “entities” were filed in New Jersey on Monday, December 2.

A source, who does not wish to be named, provided a statement to IrishCentral on Monday that said: “Several lawsuits are being filed on Monday, December 2, 2019, in Bergen County, NJ against numerous Irish dance entities alleging sexual abuse over the last 30 years. The claims are being filed by Meirowitz & Wasserberg LLP.”

This source went on to confirm that the lawsuits involve CLRG (An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha), the Irish Dance Teachers Association of North America (IDTANA), and the Mid-Atlantic Region, but that the allegations could also perhaps fall outside of those groups as well.

When contacted for comment, the law firm confirmed the statement provided to IrishCentral and said that the three lawsuits were indeed filed on December 2 at Bergen County’s Superior Court, but could offer no further comment at this time.

Read More: Irish dance teachers lodge formal complaint about 2020 World Irish Dancing Championships

The lawsuits were filed the day after the culmination of the Mid Atlantic Oireachtas, which saw thousands of Irish dancers from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware come together in Philadelphia to compete in both team and solo competitions.

This year, the Mid Atlantic Oireachtas marked its 50th anniversary.

CLRG, the largest and oldest governing body for competitive Irish dancing in the world, sanctions an annual Oireachtas competition for each region in North America where Irish dancers can qualify for the more elite National and World competitions.

The Mid Atlantic Region’s involvement in the newly filed lawsuits comes as regions across North America are in the midst of the Oireachtas season.

The New England Region Oireachtas, which includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, ran from November 22 -24.

The Western Region Oireachtas, which includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, was hosted from November 22 – 24.

The Mid-America Oireachtas, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, concluded on December 1 after three days of competition.

The Southern Region Oireachtas, which includes Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, Virginia, is scheduled for December 6 – 8.

Read More: CLRG makes official changes to 2020 World Irish Dancing Championships

An Irish dancer competing at the 2014 CLRG World Irish Dancing Championships.Getty Images

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