Court takes the 'River' out of Ceol Chiarraí tour

Donal Nolan

TRAD music impresario Mícheál Carr from Ballybunion has given an undertaking to the High Court not to use the name 'Riverdance' or 'Riverdance Tribute Show' to promote a Ceol Chiarraí tour of Eastern European countries, but he insists the 'show will go on', although under the new title of The Original Irish Dance Show.

The Riverdance Ltd and Abhann Productions Ltd companies behind the world-famous Riverdance show said it was willing to accept Mr Carr's consent to a court order granting the restraining injunctions at the High Court on Friday.

Riverdance took Mr Carr to court following concerns it had over the promotion of an apparent Riverdance tribute show Mr Carr was involved with in Russia, the Ukraine, Lativa, Estonia and Lithuania.

Riverdance Barrister Brian Kennedy told Mr Justice Paul McDermott that Mr Carr and his company had used copyright pictures and images copied directly from the official 'Riverdance' website. He said his clients learned of the use of the material when fans in Russia contacted them to say how excited they were about the company's forthcoming tour.

Mr Carr told The Kerryman this week that he had no knowledge of the use of this material in Russia and had not sent it on for use. The Kerryman understands it was originally intended to perform the Ceol Chiarraí show - which is currently rehearsing in the Tinteán Theatre in Ballybunion for the tour - as a Riverdance tribute act only.

Mr Carr registered 'Riverdance Tribute' web domain names two years ago. However, Riverdance moved in the High Court to block all use of its name, including in any intended tribute act.

"I am still adamant that anyone can do a tribute act to an artist, whether that artist is dead or alive. We decided we were going to agree to the terms of the injunction on the grounds it was for Europe only," he told The Kerryman on Monday.

Mr Justice McDermott made the restraining orders pending a full trial of the issues involved and reserved legal costs to the trial judge.

"The show will go on," Mr Carr said this week following the hearing. He said he believes the matter must go to full hearing to establish the rights of Ceol Chiarraí both in Ireland and abroad and that nothing less than thousands of jobs involved in tribute acts throughout Ireland and Europe are 'at stake' pending the outcome of the case.