Today, January 26, the High Court has ruled that Enoch Burke will be fined €700 per day if he does not purge his contempt and abide by court orders to stay away from Wilson’s Hospital School.
In his decision, Justice Brain O’Moore stated that Burke was in clear breach of court orders and that if he doesn’t agree to purge contempt by Friday, January 27 at 2pm, he will be fined. The fine will amount to almost €5,000 per week and should persuade Burke to end this “utterly pointless attendance at a school which does not want him on his property,” the judge said.
The teacher was arrested for contempt of court last September after he continued to show up at the Westmeath school despite a court order prohibiting him from doing so. He was suspended from working at the institution due to his alleged conduct at a school event in June, where he harassed the former principal and publicly disputed a transgender student’s ‘they/them’ pronouns.
In December, he was released from Mountjoy prison after 108 incarcerated on the condition that he complies with court orders to stay away from the school. However, he has repeatedly refused to do so and turned up on the grounds as soon as the school re-opened after the holidays. He attended again this morning for the third day in a row after being officially dismissed from his teaching position.
BREAKING: The High Court has decided that Enoch Burke is to be fined €700 every day he breaches the order to stay away from Wilson's Hospital School, unless he purges his contempt of court by 2pm tomorrow
— Nicole Gernon (@nicole_gernon) January 26, 2023
Wilson’s Hospital School has applied for the sequestration of Burke’s assets or for him to be fined given that he continued to breach court orders to stay away from the institution.
Justice O’Moore said that his decision on the matter will be reviewed at a hearing on February 10 and, in the meantime, the dismissed teacher’s compliance with the order will be monitored. He also added that he was considering cost issues related to this legal “saga”.
The Court of Appeal will hear Burke’s case concerning the lawfulness of the disciplinary process initiated against him by Wilson’s Hospital School on February 16.
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