Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Fiachra Gallagher

Sacker teacher Enoch Burke stood outside on the grounds of Wilson’s Hospital School for several hours on Wednesday, a day after he was arrested by gardaí under public order legislation.

Shortly after 8.45am, Mr Burke was dropped to the Co Westmeath school by his father, Seán.

Mr Burke walked to an entrance of the school building, but was denied access. Mr Burke then remained outside the building for several hours, until the school day ended, after 1.15pm.

He was collected again by his father and driven away.

Mr Burke, who was previously jailed after failing to observe a court injunction banning him from attending the school while he was suspended from work, was informed last Friday of his dismissal from his position as teacher.

Despite his dismissal, he has turned up to the school for two successive days, and staff at the school have refused him entry on both days.

Enoch Burke arrives at Wilson’s Hospital School on Wednesday. Photo: PA

The evangelical Christian was suspended from work on full pay last year pending the outcome of a disciplinary process, after a number of incidents stemming from a request from the secondary school’s principal.

Mr Burke voiced on several occasions his opposition to the principal’s request to address a transgender child by their name and refer to them by the pronoun “they”.

Subsequent events led to his suspension from his job at Wilson’s Hospital School.

A formal disciplinary hearing was held last week; a family member of Mr Burke issued a statement on his behalf on Friday, saying he had been dismissed.

Mr Burke has rejected his dismissal, asserting that he has a right to work and that he had been “wrongfully” arrested for trespass on Tuesday. – Additional reporting: PA

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