Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Teacher Enoch Burke was driven away from his former school this afternoon in the back of an unmarked Garda car.

The Irish Times reported earlier today that Mr Burke showed up at Wilson’s Hospital School this morning (Tuesday) despite being dismissed from his teaching position there last week following a disciplinary process. Two uniformed Gardaí arrived at the school in an unmarked car just after 11 a.m. and Mr Burke was then driven away in the back of the car.

Mr Burke was dropped off at the school near Multyfarnham in County Westmeath shortly after 8.30 a.m. this morning by his father Seán. A case related to his dispute with the school is due to resume in the High Court on Tuesday.

The teacher was informed of his dismissal from the school last week following a chaotic disciplinary hearing held at a hotel in Mullingar last week. Under school disciplinary procedures, he is entitled to appeal the outcome within 10 working days.

The controversy concerns Mr Burke’s emailed objection to a direction last May to teachers to address a transitioning student by their chosen name and using the pronouns “they/them” and his publicly voiced opposition to that direction at a school event last June. He alleges such a direction is a breach of his religious beliefs.

Mr Burke was jailed for contempt of court orders in early September because he continued to attend the school despite there being court orders restraining him from doing so. He was released on an open-ended basis on December 21st last, after 108 days, without having purged his contempt.

After he again attended the school on January 5th following the Christmas holidays, the school applied for orders imposing fines on Mr Burke or temporarily detaining his assets. That application, which Mr Burke strongly opposed, will be ruled on later.

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