The Westmeath-based school that employs Enoch Burke is seeking a court order to sequester or remove his assets, rather than re-activating the order committing him to prison. Representatives of Wilson’s Hospital secondary school appeared before the court on Tuesday, January 10, claiming that the teacher continues to show up on the premises, breaching an injunction that prohibits him from doing so.
On behalf of the institution, Rosemary Mallon Bl told Ms Justice Tony Hunt that Burke attended the school last week when staff and students returned from Christmas break, and that he has continued to return to the property on several subsequent days.
Counsel explained that Wilson’s Hospital was not seeking an order directing Gardaí to arrest the man as Burke is already due before the court on January 11 in relation to his application for an injunction preventing his employer from holding a disciplinary meeting concerning his conduct on January 19.
On Wednesday, the school plans to fully oppose his motion, and wants its contempt motion to be heard in conjunction with Burk’s application. According to counsel, the institution will serve its legal documents in relation to its latest application directly to the history and German teacher.
Mr Justice Hunt approved the school’s request, on an ex-parte basis, to serve short notice of the contempt proceedings to Burke. He added that the decision to not pursue an attachment order “made sense,” and that the application before the court would “get the ball rolling”. The Judge additionally warned that Burke may need time to respond to the contempt application.
The teacher was freed from Mountjoy Prison on December 21 after spending 108 days incarcerated for contempt of court. He was arrested in September for refusing to comply with a High Court injunction against him.
Wilson’s Hospital secondary school obtained the injunction against Enoch Burke after he turned up to class despite being on paid administrative leave pending a disciplinary process. He was suspended from working at the institution following his alleged conduct at a school event in June, where he harassed the principal and publicly disputed a transgender student’s ‘they/them’ pronouns.
When ordering his release before Christmas, Justice Brian O’Moore stated that it was “only on the basis 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.”
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