Burke's back | 

Sacked teacher Enoch Burke back outside school following chaotic court scenes

Mr Burke and members of his family had to be removed by force from the Four Courts yesterday

Teacher Enoch Burke was sacked after refusing to refer to a student by their preferred pronouns. Photo: Frank McGrath

Simeon Burke being removed from court

Ammi Burke being ejected from the Court of Appeal by gardaí© PA

Conor Feehan, Shane Phelan, Andrew PhelanIndependent.ie

Sacked schoolteacher Enoch Burke has turned up at his former workplace again this morning the day after appeal judges rejected his appeal against High Court injunctions directing him not to trespass there.

He and members of his family had to be removed by force from the Four Courts yesterday amid chaotic scenes when the judgement was made.

His younger brother Simeon (24) was charged with threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour.

Enoch Burke was driven to the Wilson’s Hospital school in Multyfarnham, Co Westmeath, this morning by his father, arriving at 9.10am.

He has now resumed the spot he has taken, standing outside a door of the property as temperatures struggle to rise above zero degrees.

Burke is being fined €700 a day for every day he is in contempt of court for breaching the order not to go to the school.

Today’s arrival at the school means his fines now stand at €28,700.

Ammi Burke being ejected from the Court of Appeal by gardaí© PA

At the Court of Appeal hearing yesterday, Enoch Burke lost an appeal aimed at overturning court orders preventing him from teaching or attending the school.

The three-judge court, in three separate judgments, dismissed the appeal. The delivery of the judgments was interrupted several times with gardaí eventually intervening to remove members of the family.

Officers moved in and requested that the Burkes leave the courtroom after the three-judge court abandoned the delivery of its judgment because of repeated interruptions.

There were tense scenes as at least 10 gardaí arrived in the court to escort the Burkes out, only for members of the family to angrily refuse to comply with requests to leave.

The first to be physically removed was Mr Burke’s sister Ammi, a solicitor, followed by his brother Simeon, who is studying to be a barrister at King’s Inns

One by one the family members were removed despite strongly resisting, holding onto benches and each other as gardaí sought to get them out.

Enoch Burke appeared to cut his hand while grabbing hold of a table as a garda tried to pull him away.

Throughout the incident, which went on for around ten minutes, angry comments were directed at gardaí by the Burkes.

Simeon Burke being removed from court

The confrontation broke out after the Burkes got to their feet and loudly objected to comments by the president of the court, Mr Justice George Birmingham.

The judge said “offensive terms” used by Enoch Burke during his appeal caused him to wonder “whether this is not an exercise in creating sound bites”.

Enoch Burke got to his feet, shouting: “That’s a disgrace judge”.

His mother Martina repeatedly shouted: “You are bowed prostrate at the altar of transgenderism.”

Gardaí moved in and Ammi Burke was the first to be physically removed.

Seán and Martina Burke were also bundled out of the court after a stand-off.

Then four gardaí were required to drag Enoch Burke out a back door.

As a garda wrestled with him, Mr Burke repeatedly shouted: “Don’t you dare touch me” and accused the gardaí of being “a disgrace”.

The last of the family to be removed was Isaac Burke, who was dragged out with his feet trailing on the ground.

Mr Burke was appealing against High Court orders restraining him from turning up at Wilson’s Hospital School.

Mr Justice Birmingham, sitting with Mr Justice John Edwards and Ms Justice Máire Whelan, had only managed to read out one part of the court’s decision before the hearing descended into chaos.

The judge said the court had no hesitation in dismissing an appeal Mr Burke had against a temporary injunction granted by Ms Justice Siobhán Stack last August restraining him from attending for work at the Co Westmeath school

Despite the orders, Mr Burke continued to go to its premises in Multyfarnham each school day despite first being suspended and later dismissed from his job there as a teacher of history and German.

He spent 108 days in prison last year for contempt of court orders and is currently being fined €700 for each day he remains in contempt.

His suspension last August came after Mr Burke, an evangelical Christian, refused to comply with a request from the then principal to call a transgender pupil by a new name and by their preferred pronouns.

A number of incidents, in which Mr Burke expressed opposition on religious grounds to the request, prompted the school’s board of management to put him on paid administrative leave.

He was sacked by the board of management in January, a decision he is appealing to a tribunal.

During the appeal hearing, the teacher claimed the request, was an unlawful “demand” that he participate in transgenderism, and was in breach of his constitutional rights to the freedom of religious expression.

But Mr Justice Birmingham said the communication from the principal “fell well short of a demand”.

The judge said he had no hesitation in dismissing the appeal against the order of Ms Justice Stack, as on the evidence presented to her there was a case for an interim injunction.

The Court of Appeal decided not to hear appeals against two other High Court decisions, made by Mr Justice Conor Dignam and Ms Justice Eileen Roberts. These included the dismissal of an application brought by Mr Burke aimed at setting aside his suspension.

The hearing of the full cases between the school and Mr Burke remains pending before the High Court, and is expected to be heard later this year.

A younger brother of Enoch Burke was yesterday charged with threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour following the chaotic scenes at a Court of Appeal.

Simeon Burke (24) was arrested and brought before Dublin District Court accused of causing a breach of the peace at the Four Courts.

The disturbance is alleged to have happened as appeal judges rejected Enoch Burke's appeal against High Court injunctions directing him not to trespass at a Co Westmeath school.

The accused, of Cloonsunna, Castlebar, Co Mayo, is charged with using threatening, abusive and insulting words or behaviour at the Four Courts under Section 6 of the Public Order Act.

Judge Paula Murphy granted him bail and adjourned the case to Cloverhill District Court next Tuesday. Mr Burke told the court he would not sign the bail bond and was remanded in custody with consent to bail.

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