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Enoch Burke arrested and released after arriving at Westmeath school

Enoch Burke was arrested by gardaí on the grounds of Wilson’s Hospital School in Westmeath having returned to the building despite being dismissed.

Mr Burke arrived at the school at around 8.30am, being driven by his father, who was seen leaving the school a few minutes later.

Gardaí arrived at the school in Multyfarnham at around 11.15am before leaving about 90 minutes later with Mr Burke in the back seat of an unmarked car.

It was later confirmed that he had been arrested for breaching a public order act.

A Garda spokesperson said: “A male was arrested under the Public Order Act 1994 and taken to Mullingar Garda Station.

“He has subsequently been released pending the submission of a file to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.”

After being released he then returned to the school and again entered the property. He left at about 4pm.

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

“It’s not trespassing to turn up at your place of work, that’s absolutely not trespassing,” he said.

He claimed the “purported disciplinary meeting” and the resulting “purported dismissal” was not due to take effect for months, and said he was still a school employee.

“All of this is simply because I won’t accept transgenderism,” he said.

“It’s absolutely preposterous and very, very sad. It’s really terrible and it’s very, very wrong. And that’s why I am here.” He added: “I’m here to work, here to do my work, as every teacher in the country and every civil servant and every employee has an absolute right to do.”

Following a disciplinary hearing last week, Mr Burke was dismissed from his teaching role at the Westmeath school on Friday.

According to the Burke family, a meeting was held with school officials on Friday afternoon where Mr. Burke was informed in the presence of the Chairperson of the Board of Management, John Rogers, and Principal Frank Milling that he had been dismissed.

The dismissal follows a disciplinary hearing on Thursday, held at the Mullingar Park Hotel. The family has disputed the legality of last week’s hearing, claiming solicitors had “unlawfully sought to conduct the purported disciplinary hearing, and John Rogers was absent”.

The disciplinary hearing stemmed from allegations about Mr Burke’s behavior towards the former school principal, Niamh McShane, at a function last June when the teacher is alleged to have openly and publicly voiced his opposition to transgenderism.

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

– additional reporting by PA


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