Irish Dancer Questions His Win Amid Cheating and Sex Bribes Scandal

Irish Dancer Questions His Win Amid Cheating and Sex Bribes Scandal

Doubts Arise in Irish Dancer’s Victory

Irish dancer Owen Luebbers, a TikTok and dance star, has expressed concerns that he may have won a major competition due to his unwitting involvement in the 2022 cheating and sex bribes scandal that shook the world of Irish dancing.

In a new BBC One documentary series, Luebbers revealed how he almost refrained from speaking about the ‘feis-fixing’ scandal due to the fear of being penalized in future competitions.

A Questionable Victory

Luebbers, now 25, had achieved significant success at the World Championships in 2017 with former dance school owner Kevin Broesler.

However, his confidence in his win was shattered when he discovered text messages last year suggesting that a judge had manipulated the competition results.

The documentary, titled “The Year that Rocked Irish Dancing,” delves into the challenges faced by young dancers striving for excellence and the explosive period in 2022 when allegations of result-fixing, often linked to sexual favors, emerged.

Scandal Unearthed in Irish Dancing

The scandal involved up to a dozen Irish dance teachers and judges who were accused of colluding to manipulate results at the All-Ireland Championships.

A whistleblower leaked incriminating messages to the press in Dublin and New York, prompting then deputy Irish PM Leo Varadkar to call for an external investigation, citing potential reputational damage to Ireland.

Investigation and Questions

Following an independent investigation, 44 cases proceeded to a full disciplinary hearing, which began in August of the current year.

Luebbers and others have since questioned the legitimacy of their competition victories in the wake of the scandal, raising doubts about whether they truly deserved their titles.

Shocking Messages and Industry’s Response

The scandal exposed numerous messages related to competition fixing, some suggesting sexual bribes. Messages revealed judges and teachers allegedly using young competitors for their own gratification.

Journalists who uncovered the story were astounded that what was perceived as a ‘child’s hobby’ was operated like the Mafia in the upper echelons of the sport, with many individuals too afraid to speak out.

Journalists received anonymous emails with bombshell texts, shedding light on the shocking revelations.

Irish Dancing Industry’s ‘Omertà’

Dublin-based journalist Ellen Coyne described the situation as akin to the ‘omertà’ code associated with Italian mafiosos, as many people remained silent despite the revelations.

In New York, Kerry O’Shea, editor of Irish Central, received similar messages revealing match-fixing and sexual bribery, which led to the scandal’s exposure.

Industry’s Response and Lack of Accountability

The governing body of Irish dancing, An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG), faced criticism for its lack of accountability and failure to respond appropriately.

Journalists found that the CLRG did not comprehend the necessity to address the scandal, adopting an ‘ostrich mentality’ instead. The scandal exposed the sport’s darker side, contrasting with its squeaky clean image.

Disciplinary Hearings and the Ongoing Investigation

The first disciplinary hearings began in late August, and the outcome of these hearings remains unclear. The CLRG has been relatively tight-lipped, refraining from providing a running commentary on the ongoing proceedings.

The documentary “The Year that Rocked Irish Dancing” is available on BBC iPlayer, shedding light on the scandal that rocked the world of Irish dancing.

TDPel Media

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