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Schoolteacher Enoch Burke is dismissed from his post at Wilson’s Hospital School

The move came a day after a disciplinary meeting attended by the teacher and members of his family descended into chaos

Enoch Burke

Shane PhelanSunday World

Schoolteacher Enoch Burke has been dismissed from his post at Wilson’s Hospital School.

A statement issued on his behalf to the Irish Independent confirmed his employment had been terminated today.

The move came a day after a disciplinary meeting attended by the teacher and members of his family descended into chaos.

Gardai were called to the meeting, held by the school’s board of management, after Mr Burke, his mother Martina, sister Ammi and brother Isaac loudly objected to the presence of two lawyers and the absence of the board’s chairman.

The statement said Mr Burke had attended Wilson's Hospital School today.

“He was informed in person at 3.30pm this afternoon in the presence of chairperson of the board of management John Rogers and principal Frank Milling that he was dismissed.”

The brief statement again highlighted Mr Burke’s objection to the presence of the lawyers and Mr Roger’s absence from the disciplinary meeting.

Mr Burke, an evangelical Christian, was suspended last August following incidents in which he clashed with school management over a request to call a transgender pupil by a new name and to use “they/their” pronouns in connection with the child.

He said that to do so would violate his religious beliefs.

Despite being suspended he continued to show up for work, even after the school secured High Court orders restraining him from doing so.

This led to him being jailed for 108 days for contempt of court.

Despite refusing to purge his contempt he was eventually released from Mountjoy just before Christmas and was warned by a judge he could find himself back behind bars or have his assets sequestered if he breached orders again.

However, he resumed showing up at the school in Multyfarnham, Co Westmeath on January 5 when it reopened after the Christmas break.

While in the school he was confined to a corridor and kept away from students.

Although yesterday’s meeting was held in private, the Burkes could be heard from the hallway outside the conference room at the Mullingar Park Hotel shouting and repeatedly chanting: "Chairperson John Rogers must be present at this meeting", "Where is the chairperson?" and "It's a sham. It’s a cover up".

Mr Rogers had been unable to attend due to a medical issue.

The meeting was eventually suspended and the Burkes ushered out of the conference room.

The Burkes then continued to loudly protest as it resumed in their absence in another room.

When the meeting ended two gardaí were present to escort some of those present out of the hotel.

However, the Burkes proceeded to follow Mr Milling and others out of a restaurant exit, pursuing them along the driveway in front of the hotel and then back into the hotel’s lobby, loudly berating them throughout.

The school did not comment on the outcome of the meeting.

While Mr Burke has now been dismissed, it is far from the end of the matter.

The High Court is set to rule next week on an application for the sequestration of his assets for ongoing contempt.

A legal action taken by the school against Mr Burke is due to be heard in the coming months, as is a counterclaim in which he alleges his suspension was flawed and unlawful.

The Court of Appeal is also due to hear Mr Burke’s appeal against various High Court orders next month.


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