appeal lodged | 

Jailed teacher appeals High Court injunction preventing him from attending his school

It is understood that his appeal is unlikely to be heard before Christmas.

Enoch Burke

Sunday World

Jailed teacher Enoch Burke has personally lodged an appeal against a High Court injunction preventing him from attending or teaching at the school which employs him.

Mr Burke, who objects to addressing a student with the pronoun "they" and opposes Transgenderism, was sent to prison for contempt of court last month over his refusal to obey the order not to attend at or attempt to teach any classes at Wilson's Hospital School, Multyfarnham, Co Westmeath.

The school obtained an order committing Mr Burke, who had been suspended pending a disciplinary hearing into allegations of misconduct against him, to prison over his failure to comply with the injunction.

Arising out of his refusal to purge his contempt he has been behind bars at Mountjoy Prison since early September.

On Tuesday afternoon Mr Burke, accompanied by members of the Irish Prison Services and assisted by his brother, Isaac, formally lodged his appeal against the injunction at the Office of the Court of Appeal (CoA).

The High Court had on Monday granted him an order allowing him to attend the Four Courts Complex in person.

In his appeal Mr Burke wants the CoA to set aside orders including the granting of the temporary ex-parte injunction against him, and the subsequent decision to keep the injunction in place pending the final hearing of the matter.

He also has appealed against the High Court's dismissal of applications brought by him aimed at setting aside his suspension from the school.

Mr Burke has not appealed the High Court orders committing him to prison for contempt.

His appeal is due to be mentioned before a directions hearing of the CoA later this month.

It is understood that his appeal is unlikely to be heard before Christmas.

After the appeal was lodged, Mr Burke was brought back to Mountjoy Prison.

Speaking to the media afterwards, Isaac Burke confirmed that his brother has "no intention" of purging his contempt, a move that would secure his release from prison.

Enoch Burke, a History and German teacher, was suspended on full pay late last August pending an investigation into alleged misconduct, which he denies.

Arising out of his refusal to stay away from the school its board of management obtained a High Court injunction against him.

His refusal to comply with that order resulted in his incarceration.

Mr Burke claims that the case centres around his opposition to a direction by his employer to address a student at the school, who wishes to transition, by the pronoun 'they' and by a different name is contrary to his Christian beliefs.

He says that the suspension is unlawful, unfair and unreasonable and in breach of his constitutional rights to religion, freedom of expression and conscience.

Lawyers for the school have argued it was not about his opposition to Transgenderism, but was about his refusal to obey an order of the court.

The school. claims that his refusal to comply with the injunction was disruptive to the school's students at the beginning of the new academic year.

Mr Burke, who rejects that argument, has brought his own proceedings against the school seeking reliefs including a declaration that the disciplinary process against him is unlawful and a breach of his constitutional rights, including his rights to freedom of expression, conscience, and religion.

He also seeks various orders preventing the school from continuing both his paid administrative leave, and the disciplinary process against him.

He further seeks an order preventing the school from dismissing him from his position.

He was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of a disciplinary process commenced by the school, where he has been employed for several years.

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