Enoch Burke returns to Wilson’s Hospital school again

Teacher has been attending Co Westmeath school despite dismissal following disciplinary process

Enoch Burke outside Wilson's Hospital School in Co Westmeath on Wednesday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Enoch Burke has again returned to Wilson’s Hospital School in Co Westmeath following his dismissal from his teaching post there last week.

Mr Burke arrived with his father at around 8.40am on Thursday and was denied entry to the school building. He also attended for periods on Tuesday, when he was arrested before returning to the school, and again on Wednesday.

The teacher was last year suspended and put on paid administrative leave pending a disciplinary process, initiated on foot of a report prepared last August by the then school principal Niamh McShane.

It concerned Mr Burke’s emailed objection to a direction last May to teachers to address a transitioning student by their chosen name and using the pronouns “they/them” and his publicly voiced opposition to that direction at a school event last June. He alleges such a direction is a breach of his religious beliefs.


He last week failed in his attempts to get a High Court injunction to prevent the disciplinary hearing from taking place, arguing that the process had “gone irredeemably wrong”. It went ahead and he was informed that he was being dismissed on Friday.

Mr Burke was jailed for contempt of court orders in early September because he continued to attend the school despite there being court orders restraining him from doing so. He was released on an open-ended basis on December 21st last, after 108 days, without having purged his contempt.

After he again attended the school on January 5th following the Christmas holidays, the school applied for orders imposing fines on Mr Burke or temporarily detaining his assets. That application, which Mr Burke strongly opposed, will be ruled on later.