Hero Teacher Free After 400 Days

The hero teacher Enoch Burke has been freed after serving more than 400 days in jail as part of a dispute born out of his refusal to address a transgender pupil by biologically inaccurate pronouns. The Irish Christian was jailed for refusing to comply with his school principal’s May 9, 2022, order to use a female name and pronoun for a male student who was in the process of “transitioning.”

On June 28, Mr. Justice Mark Sanfey of the High Court in Dublin ordered that Enoch Burke could be released from the Mountjoy prison, where he has been held since September 2022.

He was arrested for contempt of court on September 5, 2022, while sitting in an empty classroom in the school. He was sentenced to jail for an unspecified period of time, until he either purged his contempt of court or until the court decreed otherwise. However, after 108 days in jail, he was released by the High Court after the judge argued that Burke was using his imprisonment for his own ends.

Justice Sanfey ordered Burke to be released now that Irish schools are on their summer recess but that the teacher risked returning to jail if he breaks conditions of his release. Those conditions include a ban on him returning to the Church of Ireland Wilson’s Hospital secondary school in Multyfarnham, Co Westmeath, where Burke taught.