Transgender row teacher attends school for fourth day despite court ban

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Irish teacher Enoch Burke has returned to a Co Westmeath school for the fourth day in a row this week, despite a court order banning him from attending.

Although the High Court has said Mr Burke is to be fined 700 euro for each day he attends Wilson’s Hospital School unless he purges his contempt, on Friday he was seen standing with his arms folded outside the school building.

The evangelical Christian was suspended from work on full pay last year pending the outcome of a disciplinary process, after a number of incidents stemming from a row over transgender pronouns.

Mr Burke voiced on several occasions his opposition to a request from the secondary school’s principal to address a transgender child by their name and refer to them by the pronoun ‘they’.

Subsequent events led to his suspension from his job.

He was then jailed in September after failing to observe a court injunction banning him from attending the school while he was suspended from work, and was released in the days before Christmas.

He has asserted that accepting “transgender ideologies” goes against his religious beliefs, and is contending that the fines imposed by the High Court this week will make him “a pauper” for holding those views.

The High Court is to review the value of the fines on Friday, February 10.

Mr Burke has also questioned the disciplinary process held last week that resulted in his dismissal, calling it “totally shambolic”.

Despite being informed of his dismissal, Mr Burke’s father has been dropping him off at the school and picking him up in the afternoon, while staff at the school have been seen refusing him entry to the building.

On Tuesday, Mr Burke attended the school before being arrested by Gardai, who drove him away to a local Garda station. After he was released, he was seen returning to the school’s grounds before leaving in the afternoon.

He told reporters that he had been “wrongfully” arrested for trespass.

On Wednesday, Mr Burke was seen standing in the rain on school grounds and writing in a notebook intermittently while outside the building.

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