Enoch Burke has been denied an injunction because he refused to follow court orders to stay away from Wilson’s Hospital School.
The High Court was expected to rule on whether or not to grant Burke an injunction to halt the disciplinary proceedings started by Wilson’s Hospital School against him. On January 17, the judge determined that Enoch Burke made a strong case for an injunction based on an August 2022 report which indicates that the school did not give Burke an adequate opportunity to respond to the claims against him.
The judge agreed that Burke may have been deprived of fair justice procedures by the school, but stated that he would only consider granting an injunction if the teacher complied with the previously issued court order to stay away from Wilson’s Hospital School.
Burke was suspended on paid administrative leave for his alleged conduct at a school event in June, where he harassed the former school principal and publicly disputed a trans student’s ‘they/them’ pronouns. He was then arrested in September for contempt of court after he breached an injunction obtained by the school against him.
He remained in Mountjoy Prison until the Christmas period, before being released on the condition that he stays away from the school. Burke has repeatedly refused to do so and continued to show up multiple days after the school re-opened after the Christmas holidays.
At the hearing that took place this morning, January 18, he replied to the judge’s considerations saying that he would not comply with the order to stay away from the school. “You are asking me to agree to something that is flawed, wrong and unconstitutional,” he said.
After this refusal, the judge replied by saying that he would not grant him the injunction since individuals do not get to choose whether or not to comply with court orders, the enforceability of which “is a central plank of any system based on the rule of law”. Instead, the matter will go to full trial in the coming months.
This decision also means that a disciplinary hearing on the school’s proceedings against Burke scheduled for tomorrow at a hotel in Mullingar will now go ahead.
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