Nadine O’Regan: Prizes are messy, controversial affairs and often full of bias and intrigue

Between the wigs, jigs, reels and hornpipes of Irish dance competitions, it’s been alleged that some judges have been dancing to a different tune

Annie Ernaux: this year’s Nobel prize winner failed to generate as much controversy as Irish dance competitors. Picture: Getty

Earlier this week, French author Annie Ernaux won the 2022 Nobel prize for literature. Around the same time, a story broke that suggested that some Irish dancing competitions in Ireland and abroad may have been fixed, with reports of teachers sending begging texts to judges on behalf of their favourites and judges offered inducements to place certain dancers higher in the pecking order than they perhaps deserved.

The reaction to the first story was typical ...