High Court reporters
The full hearing of the ongoing dispute between Enoch Burke and Wilson's Hospital School over disciplinary proceedings resulting in his suspension from work will proceed before the High Court next week.
The case will commence next Tuesday and has been assigned to Mr Justice Alexander Owens. The hearing of the action is expected to take four days.
Mr Burke was suspended from the Co Westmeath secondary school last year, and was the subject of High Court injunction, which was put in place pending the outcome of the full hearing of the dispute, over his failure to comply with the terms of his suspension which required him to stay away from the school while he was on administrative leave.
His continued refusal to comply with those orders resulted in him being found in contempt of court and his incarceration for 108 days. Following his release from prison, he has continued to breach the injunction and has been subjected to a daily fine of €700.
Last week a High Court judge gave Mr Burke until today to pay fines of €23,800 which have built up to March 1st.
Mr Burke was also dismissed by the school following a disciplinary hearing. That decision is currently under appeal.
The teacher denies any wrongdoing and says that his suspension arises out of his opposition to transgenderism and a direction by the school to refer to a student, who wishes to transition, by a different pronoun.
In a counterclaim, he says the disciplinary process against him should be set aside and that it breaches his constitutional rights, including his right to freedom of expression of his religious beliefs.
Given his unblemished record as a teacher, Mr Burke claims he should never have been suspended from his job as a teacher of German and History.
The school says it was fully entitled to bring disciplinary proceedings against the teacher, and rejects any wrongdoing.
The matter was briefly mentioned on Thursday before the call over of cases due to be heard by the High Court next week. Ms Justice Siobhan Stack was told the case is ready to proceed next week.
Mr Burke, who attended the call over via video link, sought to know what witnesses would be called by the school during the proceedings. However, the court ruled that issues concerning witnesses would be a matter for the judge hearing the case.
The ongoing proceedings between the parties have resulted in many court hearings, and has seen Mr Burke and members of his family removed from courtrooms by gardaí for interrupting proceedings.
Earlier this month, Mr Burke, his parents and three of his siblings were removed from the Court of Appeal (CoA) amid chaotic scenes. The court had been in the process of rejecting Mr Burke's appeal against injunctions made against him by the High Court.
Following the CoA's ruling, Mr Burke has written to that court asking for the findings to be overturned.
It is not yet known which courtroom or venue will be used for High Court hearing next week.