Enoch Burke ordered to pay legal costs and damages to Westmeath school

In addition to the €700-per-day fine already imposed on him, Enoch Burke has been ordered to pay legal costs and €15,000 in damages to his former employer.

Enoch Burke, who was ordered to pay legal costs to Wilson's Hospital School, walking.
Image: Via Twitter - @whishtnatasha

Dismissed teacher Enoch Burke has been ordered to pay the legal costs to Wilson’s Hospital School after the institution was successful in the long-running dispute with him. In addition to the costs involved in the case, in May the school was also awarded €15,000 in damages for Burke having trespassed on its property.

Justice Alexander Owens awarded the legal costs following a hearing that took place yesterday, July 17, where Enoch Burke repeatedly shouted at the court and accused the judge of infringing on his right to religious freedom. The teacher’s mother also interrupted the judge, with a court Garda repeatedly asking her to stop.

After the judge told Burke that he had lost the case, his mother once again intervened, shouting: “He hasn’t lost it before almighty God.”

Burke has repeatedly argued that the case was brought against him due to his opposition to “transgenderism” and his religious belief. However, the dispute with Wilson’s Hospital School first started in August 2022, when he was suspended on paid administrative leave pending a disciplinary process.

He was suspended 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. Following his suspension, he continued to turn up to school despite court orders mandating him to stay away.

The teacher was arrested for contempt of court and incarcerated for 108 days, before being released on the condition that he comply with court orders. After he trespassed again on school property immediately after his release, the High Court imposed a fine of €700 on him for every day that he continued to show up at Wilson’s Hospital School.

At a hearing in May, Justice Alexander Owens ruled that Burke’s suspension was lawful and ordered the teacher to pay damages of €15,000 for continuing to trespass at the school’s campus. Such damages were in addition to the €700-per-day fine that was already imposed on Burke.

Yesterday’s hearing was convened for the court to decide on the matter of legal costs and to finalise orders in the case. After his ruling, Justice Owens told Burke that he was free to appeal the outcome of the case.

© 2023 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.