DUBLIN (LifeSiteNews) — A Christian teacher in an Irish school, fired for refusing to use transgender pronouns, has lost an appeal against court injunctions preventing him from attending his school.
Enoch Burke had his appeal rejected in Dublin’s Court of Appeal March 7, in a hearing which ended in members of the Burke family being ejected from the court, with one arrested and charged. His parents joined him for the results of his appeal, alongside his sister and two brothers, as Enoch challenged the court order which prevented him from entering the school in which he used to work.
Burke was a teacher of history and German in the Church of Ireland Wilson’s Hospital secondary school in Multyfarnham, Co Westmeath. Last year, he refused to comply with his school principal’s May 9 order to use a female name and pronoun for a male student who was in the process of “transitioning.”
He was then placed on paid, administrative leave on August 22 while the school board held a disciplinary process. After Burke ignored this and continued to attend the school, he was then handed an interim order on August 30 to prevent him from entering the school, which he also ignored.
UPDATE (26th January 2023):
Enoch Burke is facing severe fines of €5000 per week if he backs down in his stand for the truth about gender ideology.
SIGN: We stand with this brave Christian in his defense of the truth
Burke is facing a daily fine of €700 if he does not obey a court order barring him from attending the school he was fired from.
Having spent 108 days in jail last year for his refusal to abide by the court order, he was officially fired last week by the Church of Ireland (Anglican) Wilson’s Hospital School in Co. Westmeath, Ireland.
Responding to High Court Justice Brian O’Moore’s decision to fine the teacher €700 per day from Friday unless purges his contempt of the court order, Burke told reporters that the judge “wants to fine me for the profession of my religious beliefs.”
“What has become of us as a nation, to fine somebody for their religious beliefs?,” Burke asked. “We’re at a time in this country where people are at their wit’s end, with the cost of everything as we know...and Brian O’Moore, a judge of the High Court, has sat down and said to himself that not only will you have to pay for all those things, but you now have to pay for your religious belief.”
“He’ll make you a pauper for the profession of your religious belief,” Burke added.
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The teacher declined to answer questions on whether he would continue to attend the school and face significant fines, or purge his contempt of court.
An Evangelical Christian who taught German, history and politics at the school for four years, Burke has consistently maintained that to use transgender pronouns would violate his religious beliefs and that his subsequent suspension by the school, and the court orders against him, were therefore unjust.
Jailed on September 5, 2022, Mr. Justice Brian O’Moore released Burke on December 21st, despite the teacher’s unwillingness to purge his contempt of the court order barring him from the school’s property.
Mr. Justice O’Moore said today that he hoped the prospect of paying almost €5000 in fines every week would “end his (Burke’s) utterly pointless attendance at a school which does not want him on its property”.
The judge warned however that the fines could be increased if they do not have the desired effect.
Burke was fired by the school last Friday and has shown up at the school grounds for work each day this week, despite being arrested and released on Tuesday.
He has until 2pm GMT on Friday to officially purge his contempt before the court or the €700 daily fines will begin to be applied.
Mr. Justice O’Moore admitted today that it was not “immediately attractive” to jail the Christian conscientious objector again as he theorized that Burke had exploited media attention surrounding his imprisonment last year for his own ends, while the judge also considered the schools suggestion to sequester the teacher’s assets to be futile.
Prior to his imprisonment, Burke told the High Court that “transgenderism is against my Christian belief.”
“It is contrary to the Scriptures, contrary to the ethos of the Church of Ireland and of my school,” the teacher added. “I love my school, with its motto Res Non Verba, actions not words, but I am here today because I said I would not call a boy a girl.”
“It is insanity that I will be led from this courtroom to a place of incarceration, but I will not give up my Christian beliefs,” he insisted.
Burke also promised Mr. Justice Max Barrett on September 7th that he would “never leave Mountjoy Prison if in leaving that prison I must violate my well-informed conscience and my religious beliefs and deny my God. I consider it commendable that I chose to obey God rather than man.”
Irish teacher Enoch Burke has been arrested and jailed after refusing to use a transgender student's preferred pronoun, "they", in the classroom.
This insane step by Irish authorities must be called out for what it is: the unhinged intimidation of an educator by demented ideologues.
Please add your name to our urgent message to the High Court today.
SIGN: Enoch Burke must be freed immediately as an educator who upheld the truth
Burke was suspended by his school for refusing to use the transgender pronouns of a student, even confronting his principal about the irrationality of the situation, and defying a subsequent court injunction barring him from performing his teaching duties.
He is now in Mountjoy Prison, Dublin after being brought before a judge on 5 September who found Burke to be in contempt of the injunction by attending work after his suspension.
Burke, who told the High Court “I am here today because I would not call a boy a girl”, made clear that he would not abide by the injunction because it would violate his conscience as a Christian.
“Were I to obey the order of the board of management and the order of the court, I would have to accept that sticking by my belief in male and female is wrong,” he said. “It is not something I will do. It is in violation of my conscience."
“Were I to go into the school and bow to something I know to be manifestly wrong, it would be a shame and a disgrace on my part,” he added.
You can identify as a parrot if want but why should people like Enoch Burke be forced to play along with it?— IrishConservative (@RealIrishCONS) September 2, 2022
This defiant attitude has now prompted Burke's arrest and imprisonment in an Orwellian debacle that should send warning signals to the watching world.
Mr. Justice Burke ordered Burke be "committed to Mountjoy Prison and remain therein until he purges his contempt or until further order of this court.”
Defending himself, Burke replied: “I cannot purge my contempt by holding my Christian beliefs in contempt."
Burke hugged his father and brother before being taken away by Gardaí to Mountjoy Prison.
Please share this petition with as many people as possible - it's clear that leftists will not tolerate dissent on this absurd issue unless we all push back.
SIGN: Enoch Burke must be freed immediately as an educator who upheld the truth
Irish teacher jailed after refusing to use transgender pronouns - LifeSiteNews
The school authorities summoned the police and Burke was arrested for contempt of court on September 5 while sitting in an empty classroom in the school. He was sentenced to jail for an unspecified period of time, until he either purged his contempt of court or until the court decreed otherwise. However, days before Christmas he was released by the High Court after the judge argued that Burke was using his imprisonment for his own ends.
Burke had spent 108 days behind bars, but following his release the court warned that would be handed a daily fine of €700 if he refused to obey the court injunction barring him from the school.
At the time, Burke told reporters that the judge “wants to fine me for the profession of my religious beliefs.”
“What has become of us as a nation, to fine somebody for their religious beliefs?” Burke asked. “We’re at a time in this country where people are at their wit’s end, with the cost of everything as we know … and Brian O’Moore, a judge of the High Court, has sat down and said to himself that not only will you have to pay for all those things, but you now have to pay for your religious belief.”
Since then – January 26 – Burke has continued to show up at the school, with his subsequent fines now in excess of €29,000.
Rejecting Burke’s appeal on Tuesday, Justice Birmingham stated that the case was “not about transgender rights.”
However, at this point in the court proceedings members of the Burke family reportedly vocally disrupted the event by shouting at the judges. The judges left the bench for a brief time, but on their return additional disruption from the Burke family led to them being forcibly removed from the court room by police.
According to the Irish Times, members of the Burke family informed the judges that they were “prostrate at the altar of transgenderism.” Enoch’s sister was removed first, followed by his parents, prompting Enoch to call the police “thugs.”
Despicable actions by Gardai acting like bouncers, unlawfully ejecting Enoch Burke and his family at the Four Courts yesterday. Justice is being denied from Enoch rightfully defending himself against compelled speech. Sadly our great nation is controlled by authoritarians. 😞 pic.twitter.com/XbgN9qhKJN
— Ben Gilroy (@BenGilroyIRL) March 8, 2023
Enoch and his brother were then physically removed by a number of police. The court’s verdict was given online as a result.
In January, the school had issued a notice of dismissal to Burke. However, despite this and the court’s rejection of his appeal against the earlier injection, he has continued to arrive at the school after Tuesday’s proceedings.
Enoch’s brother Simon was later charged with “threatening, insulting and abusive words and behavior” after his actions at the court house on Tuesday.