Enoch Burke returns to Wilson’s Hospital School

Teacher had been in prison before Christmas for contempt of orders restraining him from attending the school

Teacher Enoch Burke returned to Wilson’s Hospital School in Co Westmeath on Thursday.

A statement from An Garda Síochána said it was “aware” of the matter, but as it referred to a civil order, An Garda Síochána “has no role at this time”.

“The role of An Garda Síochána is to ensure peace and public order is maintained, and no criminal offence is committed,” a spokesman said.

The teacher was released from prison in late December on an “open-ended” basis. In the High Court, Mr Justice Brian O’Moore made it clear that if Mr Burke breached any existing court orders made against him, he may again be jailed.


Mr Burke had been jailed since September 5th, 2022, for contempt of orders restraining him attending or teaching at Wilson’s Hospital School, Multyfarnham, Co Westmeath.

The school put him on paid administrative leave in September pending a disciplinary process arising from his behaviour at a school event last June, where he publicly questioned the then principal over an earlier direction from her to teachers to address a transitioning pupil by their chosen name and using the pronoun “they”.

Mr Burke claims that direction, and the court orders, breach his constitutional rights including to freedom of religious belief.

The principal of Wilson’s Hospital School declined to comment on whether Mr Burke turned up at the school on Thursday, except to say that the school was “open and running as normal”.

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson is a reporter for The Irish Times

Carl O'Brien

Carl O'Brien

Carl O'Brien is Education Editor of The Irish Times. He was previously chief reporter and social affairs correspondent