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Irish dance teacher who sexually abused a child was judging competitions six years ago

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An Irish dance teacher, now jailed for sexually assaulting a child, was tasked with judging children’s competitions in Ireland and abroad as recently as six years ago.

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n Coimisión Le Rincí Gaelacha, the world’s largest and oldest Irish dancing body, has admitted that it does not know when John Gerard Roddy was last registered as an Irish dance teacher or competition judge.

The dance body, which is currently battling a global cheating scandal, originally claimed that the roadie had not been registered with CLRG “at any stage” in the past 15 years. But this statement was retracted after The Independent. IE found evidence that Roddy was selected to travel to several countries and territories, at least as recently as 2017.

Roddy (63) and of Daly Crescent, Edenballymore, Co Derry, has been described as Derry’s “well-known” dance teacher. He was sentenced at Antrim Crown Court on 18 January.

Roddy, who has been jailed for six years, was convicted of seven offences, including sexual activity with a child aged 13 to 16. The offenses took place between July 1, 2007 and December 31, 2012.

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Earlier this week, a CLRG spokesperson told Independent.ie. that he had come to know about Roddy’s conviction only through media reports and that Roddy “has not been registered with the CLRG at any stage in the last 15 years”.

The spokesperson said, “CLRG has very strict child safety and protection policies in all regions around the world, which require all teachers and those who work with teachers to be thoroughly vetted by the relevant policing and/or vetting authorities “

But Independent.ie found evidence that Roddy had been chosen to judge children’s dance competitions in Glasgow in 2012, Donegal in 2015, Louth in 2016 and as a judge for a planned European Championship in Spain in 2017 was chosen.

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After it was sent to the CLRG, a spokesperson said: “The CLRG is currently reviewing past records to verify when Mr Roddy was last registered with the CLRG. Due to an error, our previous communication The date was incorrect. The CLRG would like to apologize for the mistake.

Roddy will be placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

At the time of Roddy’s sentencing, Constable Jason McMorris of the PSNI said: “Roddy violated the victim’s position of trust in her life, coerced and manipulated her. He took what belonged to her as a carefree, happy, adolescent girl.” Should have gone away. No person, let alone a child, should ever be exploited in this heinous manner.

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“The victim showed great courage and bravery in reporting these crimes to us, which had a lasting impact on her for many years. I hope that her strength and faith in the police to conduct a full investigation encourages other victims of child abuse to come forward and report.

“We take a strong stand against the targeting of sex offenders, especially those who target and abuse children, and will work tirelessly to get these people off our streets.

“Time is no barrier to reporting crimes and I would urge anyone who has been a victim of a sexual offense at any time to come forward. Don’t suffer silently In case of emergency call 101 or 999.

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