World Irish Dance Championships canceled amid coronavirus

An Chomhdhail has called off its World Irish Dance Championships next month.Getty Images

An Chomhdhail and the World Irish Dance Association have called off their World Championships competitions

An Chomhdhail, the second-largest competitive Irish dancing organization in the world, has officially called off their World Championships which were scheduled for Co Kerry next month.

In a statement issued on March 12, An Chomhdhail USA Branch said:

Official Update from An Chomhdhail regarding the cancellation of the 2020 World Irish Dance Championships.

Publiée par An Chomhdhail USA Branch sur Jeudi 12 mars 2020

An Chomhdhail is the second largest Irish dancing organization in the world with over 600 members worldwide and 28 international branches. Their World Championships event was set to be hosted at the INEC in Killarney, Co Kerry from April 4 to April 11 inclusive.

Not long after, the World Irish Dance Association (WIDA) announced that its World Championships have also been canceled.

We regret to announce that following today’s announcement by the Dutch government, we will need to cancel this year’s…

Publiée par World Irish Dance Association (WIDA) sur Jeudi 12 mars 2020

WIDA has over 140 schools in 21 countries. Its World Championships event was scheduled to take place in Veldhoven, Netherlands from April 16 – 19.

The announcements from An Chomhdhail and WIDA come after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced shutdowns across Ireland.

Varadkar, in a bid to curb the further spread of coronavirus, said all schools in Ireland would be closed from March 13 – March 29, while all indoor events involving 100 people and outdoor events involving 500 people are not to be permitted.

Bars, restaurants, and cafes can remain open, but are encouraged to practice “social distancing,” Public transport will remain operational and shops will remain open.

CLRG has not canceled its 2020 World Irish Dancing Championships

As An Chomhdhail and WIDA have announced the cancellation of their World Championships, An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG), the world’s largest and oldest competitive Irish dance organization, said they are waiting on further guidance from Irish authorities regarding its 50th annual World Irish Dancing Championships, which are scheduled in Dublin from April 5 – April 13.

CLRG posted the below statement on March 12 to its Facebook page, but it appears to have been deleted at approximately 4:15 pm EST on March 12.

“CLRG Officials are working around the clock to bring you accurate updates and news about the World Championships.

“Global events are rapidly changing and we are working as quickly as possible to bring you accurate and timely updates. As per the news reports, yesterday travel restrictions were imposed between the US and continental Europe. Today the Irish Government imposed a lockdown in the country to extend at minimum through the 29th of March.

“In order to officially postpone or cancel our event, and to protect both attendees and the organisation from certain financial devastation, we are awaiting final official word from the HSE and Irish Government officials. At any point, if CLRG had arbitrarily and voluntarily cancelled, families would not have as many rights to recover their personal travel costs, and CLRG would also be placed in a position of great financial risk due to our many contracts for the event.

“UPDATED: For dancing teachers in Ireland, Italy and other affected areas: Please follow guidelines as set forth by local and national authorities in regards to quarantine and/or lockdown requirements. CLRG recommends that Irish Dancing classes and gatherings cease in affected areas based on the timelines and advice of government officials in your area.

“We are in constant communication with our solicitors and HSE officials to finalise our position. Thank you for your patience, we expect additional statements to be released as soon as possible.”

On March 11, CLRG shared a number of preventative measures members should be taking to prevent the spread of the virus:

Publiée par CLRG Irish Dancing Commission sur Mardi 10 mars 2020

Were you planning to travel to compete at An Chomhdhail’s World Irish Dance Championships? Let us know in the comments.

An Chomhdhail has called off its World Irish Dance Championships next month.Getty Images

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