Judge “surprised” Enoch Burke is seeking injunction while defying court order

Justice Brian O'Moore said that the fact that Burke refuses to comply with an injunction against him could have "consequences" on his case.

This article is about an injunction sought by teacher Enoch Burke. In the picture, a split scree with Enoch Burke (left) and a judge in court (right).
Image: Via Pexels - EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA, Via Twitter - @ProtecttheFaith,

A High Court judge expressed surprise that teacher Enoch Burke is seeking an injunction against his employer when he himself refuses to comply with a court order and added that this might have “some consequence in relation to this ongoing litigation”.

Today, December 11, Enoch Burke appeared before the High Court again in a hearing that was supposed to start at 11am, but was slightly delayed. Another hearing then took place at 12.30pm, when a judge heard Burke’s application for an injunction to stop a disciplinary process started against him by Wilson’s Hospital School.

During the first hearing, Justice Brian O’Moore asked Burke if he was complying with the injunction the school obtained against him after he turned up to class despite being on paid administrative leave pending the disciplinary process. Burke was suspended following his alleged conduct at a school event in June, but continued to turn up to the institution anyway.

Replying to the judge’s question, Burke claimed that he was turning up to the institution because it was his duty. “My only crime is that I expressed my religious belief on transgenderism,” said the teacher, who repeatedly argued that he was previously incarcerated for his religious beliefs.

The teacher was arrested in September for refusing to comply with a High Court injunction against him and remained in Mountjoy Prison for 108 days for contempt of court, before being released on December 21. The condition for his release was “that the school can come back to court to seek his attachment and committal, the sequestration of his assets, or any other appropriate measure in the event that he does not comply with any court order”, said the judge.

During today’s hearing, Justice O’Moore said that he understood from Burke’s reply that he was in fact not complying with the court’s injunction and added: “There is an issue as to whether or not someone who is consistently in breach of a court order is themselves in a position to seek the assistance of the court to secure an order on an equitable basis”.

The judge continued by saying, “It was with some surprise that I learned that despite your refusal to abide by the court order you were now seeking the power of the court to injunct the school from doing something.”

Burke then described Justice Moore’s comment as “improper” and “unnecessary”, to which the judge replied: “I am simply marking your card that this is an issue which will be of some consequence in terms of this ongoing litigation”.

The court also heard that a technical issue had occurred in the filing of a separate motion on the case brought forward by Wilson’s Hospital School’s board of management, who is seeking to have Burke’s assets seized until January 19, when a disciplinary meeting on his case is due to take place. Such motion was brought forward after Burke showed up at school again after being released from prison.

Reports say that each day he turned up to school, the man was confined to a hallway and prevented from coming into contact with the pupils. The school’s motion will be heard by the court next Tuesday, as established by Justice O’Moore at today’s hearing.

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