Sunday 19 November 2017

RTE urged to air World Irish Dancing Championships: 'I don't think people realise how much talent there is'

Emelie Wong aged 11 of the Turley Duggan dance school from Birmingham gets ready before competing at the World Irish Dancing Championships. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Emelie Wong aged 11 of the Turley Duggan dance school from Birmingham gets ready before competing at the World Irish Dancing Championships. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Kathy Armstrong

The organisers of the World Irish Dancing Championships are "holding out hope" that RTE will air the event.

There has some controversy that the national broadcaster hasn't covered elements of the week-long event, which is taking place in Dublin's Citywest Hotel until Sunday.

One critic said: "If it was the world championships in a sport that involves moving a ball around a pitch, RTE would have wall to wall coverage."

While An Coimision Le Rinci Gaelacha, the organisers of the championships, did not directly criticise the national broadcaster, it did say there's a lot to celebrate about the event.

Orfhlaith Ní Bhriain Uí Ruairc , PRO of An Coimision Le Rinci Gaelacha, told Independent.ie: "We're going to have 25,000 visitors here in the space of a week, all celebrating Irish music and culture, I think that's newsworthy.

"I think sometimes the prophet isn't appreciated in their own land, when we go to Montreal or Scotland or wherever people are breaking down the doors to get in, perhaps because it seems more exotic.

"Often I don't think people realise until they get here how much talent there is.

"It's a really big event and maybe sometimes as Irish people we underestimate some of the great things we have to offer.

"It'd be great if the national broadcaster was here but there's still time so we're holding out hope, you never know."

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She also said that she would like to see Irish dancing becoming more current and celebrated here.

Orfhlaith said: "I think it's a very good community activity, we'd like to be able to hold it in Ireland  more often and keep it kind of current.

"We have a lot of competitors coming home form places like America, Canada or New Zealand and their relatives here aren't aware of the whole scene.

"I think we need to make our community more aware of it again.

"From our point of view the event is going really well and it's fantastic to get to celebrate Irish music and dance in this way."

An RTE Spokeswoman said: "RTÉ has to date received no complaints or feedback from the public in relation to coverage of this event. "Unfortunately, RTÉ does not have the resources to cover all national events taking place throughout the country.

"However, we would like to wish the organisers the very best with the championships."

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