Former world champion Irish dancer denies trying to coerce fellow judge

Linda Martyn agrees to disciplinary hearing after sides accept High Court terms

A former world champion has strongly denied trying to coerce a fellow Irish-dancing judge into marking down certain competitors, during a High Court hearing about whether she should be subject to a disciplinary process.

Linda Martyn, who has an Irish dancing school in Tuam, Co Galway, allegedly attempted the coercion during the Great Britain Irish Dancing Championships in October 2016. The court had previously granted her an injunction to prevent An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha, the body that regulates Irish dancing, from starting a disciplinary hearing.

Ms Martyn's barrister, Gerard Meehan, told the court that the investigative process had serious shortcomings; Ms Martyn was not told of the precise nature of the allegations against her, and her legal representatives would not be allowed to take part in the hearing, he said.

Dermot Hewson, representing the commission, denied that the allegations against Ms Martyn were unclear and said the disciplinary hearing should be allowed to proceed.


After an adjournment to discuss issues raised by Mr Justice Paul Gilligan, the sides agreed that the disciplinary hearing should proceed if certain steps were followed. It would be conducted by an independent three-person committee, two of them nominated by the Law Society of Ireland. The third, who would not have been involved in the matter previously, and would have a knowledge of Irish dancing, would be appointed by the commission. Ms Martyn's lawyers would be able to speak for her at the hearing.

Mr Justice Gilligan also directed that Ms Martyn be allowed to see all witness statements and other documentation given to the committee. He said the hearing could take place in six weeks’ time. On that basis he struck out the injunction application and awarded the costs of it to Ms Martyn.