School’s action against Enoch Burke to proceed next week

Fine for breach of injunction requiring suspended teacher to stay away from Wilson’s Hospital School while on administrative leave now in excess of €30,000

The full hearing of the ongoing dispute between Enoch Burke and Wilson’s Hospital School over disciplinary proceedings resulting in his suspension from work will proceed before the High Court next week.

The case will commence next Tuesday, has been assigned to Mr Justice Alexander Owens and is expected to take four days to hear.

Mr Burke was suspended from the Co Westmeath secondary school last year, and was the subject of High Court injunction, which was put in place pending the outcome of the full hearing of the dispute, over his failure to comply with the terms of his suspension which required him to stay away from the school while he was on administrative leave.

His continued refusal to comply with those orders resulted in him being found in contempt of court and his incarceration for 108 days.


Following his release from prison he has continued to breach the injunction, and has been subjected a daily fine of €700. That fine is now in excess of €30,000.

He was also dismissed by the school following a disciplinary hearing. That decision is currently under appeal.

Mr Burke denies any wrongdoing and says his suspension arises out of his opposition to transgenderism and a direction by the school to refer to a student who wishes to transition by a different pronoun.

In a counterclaim, he says that the disciplinary process against him should be set aside and that it breaches his constitutional rights, including his right to freedom of expression of his religious beliefs.

Given his unblemished record as a teacher, he claims he should never have been suspended from his job as a teacher of German and history.

The school says that it was fully entitled to bring disciplinary proceedings against the teacher, and rejects any wrongdoing.

The matter was briefly mentioned before the call over of cases due to be heard by the High Court next week before Ms Justice Siobhán Stack on Thursday who was told the case is ready to proceed next week.

Mr Burke, who attended the call over via video link, sought to know what witnesses would be called by the school during the proceedings.

The court ruled that issues concerning witnesses would be a matter for the judge hearing the case, however.

The ongoing proceedings between the parties have resulted in many court hearings, and has seen Mr Burke and members of his family removed from courtrooms by the Garda, for interrupting the proceedings.

Earlier this month Mr Burke, his parents and three of his siblings were removed amid chaotic scenes from the Court of Appeal (CoA) while it was in the process of rejecting his appeal against injunctions made against him by the High Court.

Mr Burke has subsequent to the CoA’s ruling written to that court asking it to overturn its findings.