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Enoch Burke: gender questioning teacher jailed indefinitely

What are the rights of other teachers?

John McAnulty

15 September 2023

Enoch Burke

On Friday 8th September teacher Enoch Burke attended the high courts in Dublin and was jailed a second time for standing outside Wilson’s Hospital School, his former place of employment. The imprisonment is indefinite, although he can seek release by agreeing that he will stay away from the school.

Mr Justice Mark Heslin said that there “was no dispute” that Mr Burke had “flagrantly breached” the previous injunction to stay away from the school.

So, Burke, an evangelical Christian, objected to a requirement to address a pupil according to the student’s own perceived gender. The school will not advance this as an element in the dispute, claiming that he was disruptive and suspending and sacking him on these grounds. The courts accepted the school's argument and issued a blanket ban on his protest outside the school and imprisoning him when he did not comply.

But the idea that this has nothing to do with gender ideology was frayed by the joyful celebration of many Dublin "leftists". The teacher had been fired, imprisoned and subject to crippling ongoing fines. This should be the fate of all those who question gender ideology.

So, three issues arise:

Where are Burke’s employment rights? The only groups to express concern about the initial sacking were the executives of the main secondary teaching unions, the TUI and ASTI, who were amazed at the speed of his dismissal. While suspending a teacher is a fairly simple procedure, dismissal is not. Even in the case of criminal conduct there will be long periods of investigation, hearings, appeals and so on.

What about the teacher standing next to Burke and the thousands throughout the country? The de facto position is that you can be fired for questioning gender ideology. How many teachers will take the chance of saying anything?

Lastly, we have the advance of hate speech legislation. The same implicit threat will hang over everyone. In this context questioning is hating and the full force of the law will fall on you.

Not only is this a savage human rights violation, but it takes place as large sections of the left collapse into the cult of gender identity and cheer the dilution of workers’ rights and the state repression of dissidents.

Thankfully, as these issues come under the public gaze the level of opposition grows and we can look forward to the growth of a new socialist movement free of cultism.

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