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Simeon Burke. Sam Boal/
Court of Appeal

Simeon Burke to stay in prison after again refusing to accept bail

Burke, 24, was charged with engaging in threatening, insulting and abusive words and behaviour at the Court of Appeal last week.

A BROTHER OF Enoch Burke is to remain in prison, having again refused to accept bail, a week after he was charged over outbursts in the Court of Appeal.

Simeon Burke, 24, a barrister-at-law Kings Inn student, had been arrested following chaotic scenes where gardaí had to intervene in the Four Courts after a judgement was handed down in teacher Enoch Burke’s case on 7 March .

He and his family had been there to support his brother, awaiting a ruling on his unsuccessful appeal against the High Court orders refraining him from attending Wilson’s Hospital School in Co Westmeath.

Gardaí arrested Simeon, with an address at Cloonsunna, Castlebar, Co Mayo and brought him to the Bridewell Garda station.

He was charged with a Public Order Act offence for engaging in threatening, insulting and abusive words and behaviour at the Court of Appeal. However, he had refused to take up station bail on the evening of his arrest, resulting in gardaí bringing him before Judge Paula Murphy at a late sitting of Dublin District Court.

There was no objection to bail set at €200, requiring no lodgement, but with a condition to stay away from the Four Courts.

However, the student would not take up the bail and refused to sign the bond.

He had told the presiding District Court judge that the Court of Appeal was trying “to shove transgenderism down the throats of the people”, and he demanded a halt to his prosecution.

As a result, he was remanded in custody with consent to bail and has remained in prison for the past week. He faced his second hearing when he appeared before Judge Cephas Power at Cloverhill District Court today.

His mother, Martina, sister Ammi, father Sean, and brother Isaac supported him in court and sat in the front row of the public gallery.

Ammi moved to the stand beside the dock as Simeon, dressed in a dark suit, was brought in clutching a bundle of files.

Court Garda Sergeant Olwyn Murphy handed over the disclosure of prosecution evidence to Simeon Burke.

Ammi, a solicitor, told the court that while her brother was representing himself, she was his legal advisor, and he wished to make an application that would only take a moment.

Judge Power said it was not a day for applications but to indicate if he was pleading guilty.

Simeon Burke then addressed the court, saying his arrest was “unlawful”, to which the judge replied, “That is a matter for the hearing Mr Burke.”

Simeon Burke said he needed to be allowed to speak because he was incarcerated and reiterated his claim that the arrest was unlawful. He contended that the power and reason for it, the factual and legal basis, had not been explained to him in ordinary language.

He said he went to the Court of Appeal and was “attacked by gardaí”.

Judge Power asked him to stop, said it was clear Simeon Burke would not listen, and told him he was adjourning the matter.

Ammi Burke said Simeon was making an unlawful arrest and imprisonment application, but the judge replied that he was putting the case back for two weeks.

Simeon told the court that he was being deprived of his liberty and four or five gardaí had attacked him.

He pleaded with the court to hear his application saying he was prevented from sitting an exam in Kings Inns. “I have barrister-at-law exams. I’m not being allowed to take them,” he said.

Judge Power remanded him in continuing custody with consent to bail to appear again on 28 March to set his hearing date.

At his first hearing in the District Court last week, Garda Conor Dwyer said he went to the Four Courts at 3.23 pm. The Burke family refused to leave the Court of Appeal, and there was a breach of the peace with several members of the public present, he said.

Garda Dwyer alleged he escorted Simeon Burke from the courtroom “shouting in an aggressive manner.” He said e tried to reason with him but would not comply and arrested him for an offence under section six of the Public Order Act.

He was then taken to the Bridewell Garda station, where he “made no reply to the charge”.

Garda Dwyer did not object to his bail, but he asked for conditions to be imposed.

Simeon Burke, who had no legal representation on that date either, said, “I can speak for myself; this process needs to be stopped. I have been unlawfully arrested, and I have been treated shamefully and disgracefully by the gardai”.

“I am shocked and shaken to the core,” he said, adding, “I went to the Court of Appeal, as every citizen has a right to do”.

“During my time there, the president of the Court of Appeal made statements, and they were horrific statements about transgenderism, justifying why transgenderism should be shoved down the throats of the people in this country, not only in schools but in universities”.

He said he had religious rights, and citizens could freely express themselves. He had also claimed his family had been subjected to a “mob” of gardaí which “invaded the courtroom” and assaulted his sister Ammi.

He maintained the officers cursed and assaulted him and his brother, “who spent 108 days in prison because he would not accept transgenderism, and will not be forced to accept transgenderism in the school where he works”.