At the meeting of An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha earlier today, the feasibility of Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne 2021 still proceeding in July 2021 was discussed. Over and above the almost impossible task of projecting what Covid-19 restrictions might still be in place in Ireland and indeed worldwide in July, the members were critically aware of the lack of opportunities, losses and disappointment that the dancing community has endured over the past 12 months. The dividing line between reality and providing hope, is indeed a very narrow and precarious one. Decisions can only be made on current guidelines and what advice is available via various health agencies.
Current Covid-19 situation in Ireland
Ireland is currently at Level 5 restrictions and these are expected to remain effective for several more weeks.
The roll out of vaccinations has started but Ireland appears to be behind other nations. It is hoped that as the vaccination process gains more traction, restrictions will lift but in a very controlled and sustained manner. On the 14th February, the Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, announced that “Mass gatherings of more than 50 people are unlikely until a large swath of the population have been vaccinated” with the Government “cautiously optimistic about this being achieved in September”.
Even if restrictions have eased significantly by July, it is believed that there will still be significant restrictions on International travel into Ireland. Both Australia and New Zealand are still indicating that no unnecessary International travel will be allowed until 2022 at the earliest.
It is still the considered opinion of An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha that our dancing community cannot be seen to encourage or be complicit in the reintroduction or unnecessary spread of the Covid-19 virus. We have a clear moral and ethical duty to take all adequate measures to protect and safeguard the dancing community and indeed the general population of Ireland.
In addition, there is a strong belief amongst members that the event could not be considered a true World Championships when competitors from whole countries, indeed continents, will most likely be prevented from attending.
It is therefore with incredible sadness and inevitability that An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha has cancelled Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne 2021 and that the 50th Anniversary of the Championships will take place in Belfast between the 10th and 17th April 2022.
Attendees who transferred their accommodation requirements from 2020 to 2021 will be contacted soon by Keynote for the return of any fees less admin charges being held.
Qualification for Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne 2022
It was agreed that anyone that was entitled to dance at Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne 2021 may fall back on that entitlement should they not requalify at their Regional Oireachtas later this year. Each area will shortly be compiling this list and will be submitting it to the office by 30th April 2021. It is the responsibility of each teacher to check with their Regional Director or local Council to ensure their dancer’s name(s) are included.
Should a dancer not be able to compete at their Regional Oireachtas in 2021 due to medical/Covid-19 reasons, the normal exemption from the rule must be applied for. Each appeal will be considered on an individual basis.
For clarification, World Medal holders from 2019 will not be stepped over at either the Regional or National events in 2021, as such places have already been stepped over in 2019. In addition, there is no substitution for 2021 Regional Qualifiers that are unable to attend Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne 2022.
Where in any region, Covid-19 restrictions are still in place preventing a 2021 Regional Oireachtas to run, then the default list submitted by each Region as outlined above, will be used.
Secondary Qualifying Events
Further important information regarding 2021 Secondary Qualifying events for Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne 2022 will be distributed to all teachers by separate Email in the very near future.
Dances and Age Groups
The age group categories in Solo competitions will remain unchanged.
The normal rotation of solo dances will apply. e.g. if in 2021 a female was expected to dance the Reel, Hornpipe and Jig Set Dance, in 2022 they will be expected to perform Slip Jig, Heavy Jig and Hornpipe Set Dance. (Regional and National Oireachtasaí only have to comply with the specified Hard and Light Shoe dances at their event as per the normal rule in the World syllabus.).
Information regarding Ceili Dances and whether qualification will be required or not this year will follow once available.
The Adjudicators that were selected for 2020 and were prepared to officiate at the 2021 event are now regarded as having fulfilled their judging obligation and are now released from being mandated for five years.
Any particular queries regarding the ramification of these decisions should in the first instance be directed to your CLRG representative or Regional Director.