Enoch Burke returns at Wilson's Hospital School on first day of new term

Despite previously being arrested, spending 108 days in prison, and a fine surpassing €140,000, Burke continues to trespass at the school.

Enoch Burke stands outside school gates on the first day of the new term.
Image: Twitter @fitzpatrickeamo

On the first day of the new term, Monday, August 28, Enoch Burke once again appeared at Wilson’s Hospital School, where he allegedly “took up position in a corridor”. Despite previously being arrested, spending 108 days in prison, and a fine surpassing €140,000, Burke continues trespassing at the school where he previously worked.

Last year, the former German and history teacher was arrested and taken to Mountjoy Prison where he spent 108 days for contempt of court. Burke was released on the condition that he would stay away from school property, but he has repeatedly disobeyed this order.

Burke continued to stand outside the school on countless occasions even after he was arrested for trespassing in January 2023. A statement from a family spokesperson said Enoch “has a right to his religious beliefs and believes it is wrong that he is being denied access to his place of work”.

In addition to a fine of €700 for every day the former teacher appears at the school, the school won a High Court case that upheld the initial decision to suspend him and Burke was ordered to pay the legal costs to Wilson’s Hospital School. As well as the costs involved in the case, in May the school was also awarded €15,000 in damages for Burke having trespassed on its property.

Despite the fines and court orders, Burke entered the school building on Monday morning, as reported by The Irish Times.

Burke was originally suspended from his teaching position in Westmeath due to his alleged conduct at a school event where he harassed the former principal and publicly disputed a transgender student’s pronouns.

Students have described his presence at the school as disruptive. Earlier this year, Burke’s former pupils wrote a letter in response to his behaviour. Students said his presence in the school is “…a daily reminder of the prejudices they feel” and said they worry he may say “something harmful to gain publicity”.

In response to the ongoing disruption the dismissed teacher causes, an LGBTQ+ charity fundraiser was launched. The fundraiser called “Enough Enoch” donates to Irish charities TENI and LGBT Ireland, it aims to match his fine and raise €700 for every day that Burke shows up at Wilson’s Hospital School.

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