Inquiry into Simeon Burke detention ordered by judge

A High Court judge has ordered an inquiry into the legality of the detention of Simeon Burke which is ongoing since a March 7th court hearing into an injunction granted against his brother Enoch Burke.

Mr Justice Antony Barr said this evening that an inquiry under Article 40.4 of the Constitution was merited regarding the 24-year old’s detention at Cloverhill Prison.

Simeon Burke was arrested on an alleged breach of the peace following events at the Court of Appeal last month.

He was granted bail on condition that he stay away from the Four Courts, but he declined that condition, and asserts that his arrest was unlawful, and also denies any breach of the peace.

He is charged with a breach of the peace, under the Public Order Act, for engaging in threatening, insulting and abusive words and behaviour at the Court of Appeal.

The judge made his ruling on an ex-parte application brought by Ammi Burke on behalf of her brother.

Justice Barr ruled that Mr Burke had raised issues concerning the lawfulness of his arrest and treatment at the hands of the gardaí, as well as his ongoing detention.

He said that an inquiry into Mr Burke’s imprisonment was merited, and that both sides could make submissions on the legality of the detention,

That inquiry will take place at the Four Courts on Thursday.

Mr Burke is seeking a court order directing his immediate release from Cloverhill.

Ammi Burke was strongly critical of the refusal of previous judges to allow the inquiry, saying a third party can seek an article 40 inquiry on a prisoner’s behalf.

Mr Justice Barr said he was satisfied that Ammi Burke did have the legal standing to apply for the inquiry.

Appearing on a video link from Cloverhilll prison, Simeon Burke separately told the district court, in a pretrial hearing, that he had received CCTV evidence in relation to the Court of Appeal incident.

Mr Burke will argue that the presiding judge in the Court of Appeal had not asked him or his family to leave the courtroom at the time the gardaí removed them from the scene.

The unprecedented scenes of the removal of the Burke family from the Court made international news – with Gardai dragging Simeon Burke from the building and the grounds of the Four Courts.


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