Credit: Enoch Burke via Twitter (L) / Brian Shaw (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Enoch Burke returns to school, claims its wrong he is being denied access

Enoch Burke has returned to Wilson’s Hospital school today claiming that he “is being denied access to his place of work” and that he opposes an ideology “which will have serious repercussions for young people”.

Earlier this year, the High Court found the school had behaved lawfully when it suspended the teacher, who was eventually dismissed after successive court hearings.

A statement from a family spokesperson said that Mr Burke “will not endorse an ideology which he as a Christian disagrees with and which will have serious repercussions for young people”.

“He has a right to his religious beliefs and believes it is wrong that he is being denied access to his place of work,” the statement said.

Mr Burke’s clash with Wilson’s Hospital school in Co Westmeath, where he had been employed as a teacher, came after a former principal, Ms Niamh McShane, requested that teachers call a transgender child by a new name and by their preferred pronouns.

Following a dispute, the school obtained an injunction against Mr Burke attending the school, and the teacher spent 108 days in prison for contempt of court after he failed to abide by the terms of the injunction.

Following his release, Mr Burke continued to arrive at the school daily, even after the High Court said he would be fined €700 fine for every day he turned up at Wilson’s Hospital in defiance of the injunction.

The case has received international attention with High Court judge Mr Justice Alexander Owens accusing Mr Burke of engaging in “high farce” at one hearing.

However, Mr Burke said that at the time that he would not pay the school’s legal costs despite its successful application because he said to do so would be allowing the court to punish him for his religious belief.

At the end of last term, Mr Burke claimed to have received from pupils at the Westmeath School, telling the Sunday Times he had been “mobbed” by supportive students on the last day of term.

Speaking to the paper, he showed no sign of abandoning his demonstrations at the school gates, despite a fine of €700 per diem that had been imposed by the High Court several months ago for his ongoing breach of orders requiring him to stay away from the school’s premises.

“I was mobbed by some senior students wanting me to sign their shirts, wanting autographs, wanting pictures and wishing me well.

“I think it’s very regrettable in our country that children have a greater conscience and a greater grasp of right and wrong than the judge in the chair that’s getting paid €250,000. I think that’s a very sad state for our country to be in,” he said.




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