Friday, January 20, 2023

Muireann Duffy

Teacher Enoch Burke has been formally dismissed by Wilson’s Hospital School following a disciplinary hearing held earlier this week.

As reported by The Irish Times, Mr Burke attended the school on Friday and was informed of his dismissal in person at 3.30pm in the presence of the board of management’s chairperson John Rogers and the school’s principal Frank Milling.

Mr Burke is entitled to appeal the decision within 10 working days.

The decision follows a disciplinary meeting held at a hotel in Mullingar, Co Westmeath on Thursday, which Mr Burke and members of his family attended.

The Burkes disrupted the proceedings and gardaí were called to the hotel on two occasions.

The disciplinary meeting stems from allegations about Mr Burke’s behaviour towards the school’s then principal Niamh McShane at a school function last June when he is alleged to have openly and publicly voiced his opposition to transgenderism.

Mr Burke was suspended from work on full pay last year pending the outcome of the disciplinary process.

He claims his suspension relates to his opposition to the school’s direction to refer to a student at the school, who wishes to transition, by “a different name” or “they” rather than “he”.

Mr Burke denies any wrongdoing and has argued that his suspension, and the subsequent court orders, including one which saw him jailed for over 100 days for contempt against him, amount to a manifest breach of his constitutional rights to religious freedom.

On Wednesday, a High Court judge refused to grant Mr Burke an injunction to halt the disciplinary proceedings against him, allowing Thursday’s meeting to take place.

A statement issued by the Burke family on Friday confirmed: “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 family also continued to dispute the legality of the hearing, claiming “solicitors unlawfully sough to conduct the purported disciplinary hearing, and chairperson John Rogers was absent”.

It is understood Mr Rogers fell ill prior to Thursday’s hearing and was replaced by an acting chair.

Wilson’s Hospital School has been contacted by the PA agency for comment. -Additional reporting by PA

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