Sacked teacher Enoch Burke has not ruled out a return to Wilson Hospital School in September, calling the €88,900 fine he received for contempt of court “oppression”.
Mr Burke traveled from C Castlebar in Co Mayo to the school in Multyfarnham in Co Westmeath for the final day of term despite a daily fine of €700 imposed upon him by the Court on January 27.
The Board of Directors of Wilson Hospital School successfully obtained injunctions against Mr Burke last August and September after he continued to show up “to work” on site despite his suspension pending the completion of the disciplinary proceedings.
The Supreme Court last month issued the school an injunction barring Mr Burke from entering the premises and awarded the school €15,000 in damages for trespassing, reports Independent.
Mr Burke refused to comply with the court order and was sentenced to 108 days in prison last year for contempt.
He was sacked later that month but attended school almost every day.
“I’m here standing outside the school. I’ve been out here since January, I’ve been out here in freezing conditions, I’ve been out here in rain and sleet, and it’s because I have rights. No judge has the prerogative, or no principal, or anybody else, to take those rights away,” he told Independent.ie as he arrived this morning.
When asked if he intended to return in September to continue his schooling, Mr Burke said he was still trying to process what happened in relation to his work situation after being fired as a teacher from Wilson Hospital School.
“As it stands at the moment, it’s the last day of school here. I’m here, showing up for work. There is a disciplinary appeal panel meeting scheduled for Friday July 7 in Athlone. There’s no need for this at all. Somebody else is going to get loads of money, a panel of three I believe, there will be a long day of deliberating with different people as to whether the school acted rightly in getting rid of me for saying that I could not call a boy a girl, that I objected to being forced to accepting transgenderism,” he explained, adding that he should be going in to supervise exams this morning, reports Independent.
When asked about the €88,900 fines imposed on him for contempt of court since January 27, he said he had made his point clear.
“I have a belief that nobody in this country should have to pay for their beliefs, or indeed nobody in this country should have to pay for exercising their rights,” he said, reports Independent.
Judge Owens said Mr Burke was disqualified for “disorderly and in persistent contempt” of court.
The judge said that Mr Burke was approached several times during the hearing and told he was welcome to attend again if he promised to comply with the court’s rulings, but he chose not to respond or to clearly state his intentions.
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