Enoch Burke pictured arriving at the High Court in Dublin yesterday Sam Boal/
john rogers

Gardaí called to hotel after Enoch Burke's family 'disrupt' disciplinary hearing

A meeting between representatives of Wilson’s Hospital School and the suspended teacher took place earlier today.

GARDAÍ WERE CALLED to a disciplinary hearing being held at the Mullingar Park Hotel today between representatives of Wilson’s Hospital School in Co Westmeath and suspended teacher Enoch Burke.

Gardaí attended the hotel after members of the Burke family attempted to disrupt the meeting.

In videos circulating online, the Burke family took issue with the fact the chairman who was appointed to oversee proceedings, John Rogers, was not present at the meeting.

In the footage, members of the Burke family repeatedly state: “We need the chairperson, John Rogers, who is very conveniently absent” and “Where is John Rogers? Where is John Rogers?”

Rogers is the chairman of the school’s board of management. He took ill last night and an acting chairperson stood in on his behalf, RTÉ News reports.

It is understood that the meeting has since ended but no outcome has been confirmed to the media.

A spokesperson said that An Garda Síochána is aware of the incident.

“As this refers to a private matter, An Garda Síochána has no role at this time.

“In general terms, the role of An Garda Síochána, in attending any similar incident, is to ensure peace and public order is maintained, and no criminal offence is committed,” a statement noted.

High Court

A High Court judge this week refused to grant Enoch Burke an injunction halting disciplinary proceedings against him.

In his judgement, Justice Conor Dignam said that Burke had raised strong grounds that would allow the court to make orders preventing Wilson’s Hospital School from proceeding with its disciplinary meeting.

However, due to Burke’s ongoing refusal to comply with a court order requiring him to stay away from the school until the proceedings have been determined, the judge said the balance of justice was tipped in favour of refusing to grant the injunction.

When the matter returned before the judge yesterday morning, Burke informed the court that he would not be complying with the orders granted last September, which he said were flawed and in breach of his constitutional rights.

Burke has been suspended but is still being paid by the school.

Following his refusal to comply yesterday, his injunction application was dismissed.

Behaviour towards principal

The disciplinary hearing stems from allegations about Burke’s behaviour towards the former school principal Niamh McShane at a school function last June.

He claims his suspension relates to his opposition to the school’s direction to refer to a student by their chosen name and pronouns.

Burke denies any wrongdoing and has argued that his suspension, and the subsequent court orders, including one which saw him jailed for over 100 days for contempt against him – for continuing to show up to the school – amount to a manifest breach of his constitutional rights to religious freedom.

The school has denied Burke’s claims and had opposed his injunction application.

Contains reporting by Aodhán Ó Faoláin, Jamie McCarron and Diarmuid Pepper

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