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Thread: Enoch Burke

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    International Prospect osarusan's Avatar
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    Enoch Burke

    Wonder what people's thoughts are on this.

    Enoch Burke comes from an Irish family of more or less religious evangelists. They're a bit of a nutty bunch (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burke_family_(Castlebar) )

    Enoch was a teacher at Wilson's Hospital School, a Church of Ireland co-educational boarding school in County Westmeath. One student requested that the students and staff use 'they/them' pronouns to refer to the student, along with the new name the student had chosen, and the school, in accordance with its policy, agreed to do this.

    Enoch took exception to this. He interrupted a church service to voice his disagreement with the decision to agree with the student's new name and choice of pronouns, and with the concept of transgenderism in general. At another function after the service, things got heated between him and the principal, and as she tried to walk away from him, he followed her and kept pressing the issue/confronting her.

    As a result of this he was suspended by the school until a disciplinary meeting could be held. Despite this suspension, he kept turning up at school, so they got an injunction to stop him doing that. Ignoring both the injunction, and a later court order, he continued to turn up, and ended up in court for non-compliance with the injunction. He was remanded in prison for contempt of court, and stayed there for more than 2 months, as he declined a few opportunities to purge his contempt, arguing that transgenderism was against scripture and he would obey God's laws, not man's law.

    He was released shortly before Christmas, at least partly due to the judge's belief that was was effectively exploiting his own imprisonment for his own gain. On January 19, the disciplinary hearing was held and he was dismissed from his position. Since then he has turned up and either tried to enter the buildings, or simply stood outside the closed school gates for hours on end. Yesterday the judge imposed a fine of €700 per day for each day he turns up outside the school.

    The case has, predictably, been picked up by a lot of conservative media and used as an example of wokeness and loony lefties and all that. The response to this is that it's really about the way that he confronted the principal, rather than raising his disagreement in a professional and mature way. That is legally true, but it's hard (for me anyway) to avoid the conclusion that all of the attention on this is because of the divisive nature of the debate over transgenderism itself.

    Last edited by osarusan; 27/01/2023 at 10:04 AM.

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    Coach John83's Avatar
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    He doesn't even teach the student in question.

    This is nothing to do with 'wokeness'. If he'd objected to a change in the school uniform policy, harassessed staff about it, kept turning up in spite of being suspended, kept turning up in spite of a court order, refused to purge his contempt in spite of being jailed, continued to show up after being released, continued to show up after being fired, continued to show up after being arrested for trespass, and perhaps even continued to show up after being fined by the court (which kicks in this afternoon, I understand), then it would be the same story except American fundies wouldn't be sending him money.

    He's acted like an utter ***** and I wish him nothing but misery and ruin. The kids in that school don't deserve this disruption to their education.

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    International Prospect osarusan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John83 View Post
    He doesn't even teach the student in question.

    This is nothing to do with 'wokeness'. If he'd objected to a change in the school uniform policy, harassessed staff about it, kept turning up in spite of being suspended, kept turning up in spite of a court order, refused to purge his contempt in spite of being jailed, continued to show up after being released, continued to show up after being fired, continued to show up after being arrested for trespass, and perhaps even continued to show up after being fined by the court (which kicks in this afternoon, I understand), then it would be the same story except American fundies wouldn't be sending him money.
    Agreed - legally, it would be exactly the same.

    However, in a parallel universe: if there was some backwards town in the USA where the school board insisted on teaching creationism instesd of evolution, and the Enoch Burke equivalent in that school wanted to believe science rather than scripture and had 'harassessed staff about it, kept turning up in spite of being suspended, kept turning up in spite of a court order, refused to purge his contempt in spite of being jailed, continued to show up after being released, continued to show up after being fired, continued to show up after being arrested for trespass, and perhaps even continued to show up after being fined by the court', I still think it would be portrayed very differently.

    And I think that many of the people arguing it's purely a disciplinary issue and nothing to do with the beliefs behind them, and effectively the teacher's own fault for raising the issue in the way they did, would not be making that argument.
    Last edited by osarusan; 27/01/2023 at 11:13 AM.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    He's a loony. And not just because of this. His family background is unfortunate but I don't think that can excuse his actions. (I do wonder what the hiring process was like, given his prior actions at UCG)

    I think there's definitely a serious debate that needs to happen about this pronoun stuff to be honest. The Tavistock scandal in England - where the NHS were giving out puberty blockers without any real monitoring, and where a former client who had undergone major invasive surgery successfully sued them because she wasn't questioned enough - strongly indicate this.

    But yeah, the way he went about it clearly wasn't the way to have that debate of course. Though I'm not sure how that debate is going to be had short of more cases like Tavistock, sadly.

    I think ultimately this is a disciplinary matter on the basis of his conduct. Is there extra media reporting because of the nature of the topic? Yeah, there probably is a lot of that alright. I think the family background makes it click-worthy too. The media these days like clicks, because we like quick clicks too. Is it a vicious circle of sorts?

    I suspect a lot of people are misinterpreting the contempt of court element too, and Burke's refusal to purge it. He's not in contempt of course because of his beliefs, and he's not being asked to purge or give up his beliefs. He's in contempt of court because he continued to show up at the school while suspended, and I think to purge that, all he has to do is acknowledge he shouldn't have turned up while suspended.

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    International Prospect osarusan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post

    I suspect a lot of people are misinterpreting the contempt of court element too, and Burke's refusal to purge it. He's not in contempt of course because of his beliefs, and he's not being asked to purge or give up his beliefs. He's in contempt of court because he continued to show up at the school while suspended, and I think to purge that, all he has to do is acknowledge he shouldn't have turned up while suspended.
    I think the misinterpretation is wilful for the most part. Some people want it to be true - they like the idea that he's in prison for his beliefs, rather than a simple refusal to purge contempt that is legally unrelated to his beliefs or even initial actions at the school.

    Or, at least, people are wilfully misrepresenting it to others, who will like the idea that he's a martyr.

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    International Prospect CraftyToePoke's Avatar
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    The students writing to him saying this was disruptive to their learning and was making LGBTQ students feel uncomfortable there should have been the end of this had it been about anything other than himself & the serial protest carry on he & his have plenty previous for.

    Interested to watch how this ends though & delighted it keeps getting worse for him & his brand of nonsense. Hope the school dotted all the I's on the dismissal and checked their ground as surely this will be where it goes next

    https://www.rte.ie/news/education/20...2-enoch-burke/

    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    He's a loony. And not just because of this. His family background is unfortunate but I don't think that can excuse his actions. (I do wonder what the hiring process was like, given his prior actions at UCG
    Absolutely, yes. Whoever signed off on this hiring needs to come under scrutiny here, a cursory Google is all it would have taken, prevention over cure etc. It was odds on a matter of time with this guy before he engineered something like this in an teen environment these days.

    Not seeing it reported that he has turned up at the school today yet, not on RTÉ at least. Anybody know more ?
    Last edited by dahamsta; 30/01/2023 at 8:11 PM.
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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Indo saying he's there anyway.

    Not sure how this one is going to end. He seems to have no intention of backing down. The law is doing all it can in fairness, but he still won't take the hint.

    Money is the obvious factor - I don't think he intends on paying the fines (because he doesn't recognise them) but he's either getting funding from somewhere or he'll have to move on at some stage. But what a ridiculously unhelpful game of financial chicken to be playing.

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    International Prospect CraftyToePoke's Avatar
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    Incarceration to keep him away from the school maybe ?
    It will suit his crusade in other ways but it at least lets the pupils get on with the reason they are there ( which this guy clearly doesn't give one fcuk about )

    What rights would the state have on any assets of his re unpaid fines ?
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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraftyToePoke View Post
    Incarceration to keep him away from the school maybe ?
    I guess so, though he was recently locked up for what - two months? - and no change out of him.

    So he gets locked up until he apologises for being a disruptive abusive shouty *****, which isn't likely to be any time soon. And in the meantime people are thinking "Poor Enoch, imprisoned for his beliefs"

    I guess the State could send the Sheriff after him for the fines?

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    Capped Player nigel-harps1954's Avatar
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    Seize assets, throw him in jail, and prevent media coverage on him. He'll soon go away once the circus stops giving him air.
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    I wonder how it would all have played out if Enoch Burke was another religion ? ~ ~ Say ~ Jewish ~ Islamist ~ Hindu ~ Sikh ~

    Interesting to see how it would all have played out in that situation ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    I guess so, though he was recently locked up for what - two months? - and no change out of him.

    So he gets locked up until he apologises for being a disruptive abusive shouty *****, which isn't likely to be any time soon. And in the meantime people are thinking "Poor Enoch, imprisoned for his beliefs"

    I guess the State could send the Sheriff after him for the fines?
    He was in jail but didn't he still have a job there & technically reason to be at the school then ? He no longer has that or any reason to go there apart from the publicity of being there. Remove that from him until he simply stays away, no apology or anything like that needed.

    His beliefs or the kids education, easy PR win there if correctly handled.

    Quote Originally Posted by nigel-harps1954 View Post
    Seize assets, throw him in jail, and prevent media coverage on him. He'll soon go away once the circus stops giving him air.
    Yeah, bury him in jail till its not a story & have him come out to his assets gone then rinse & repeat if he goes near that school. Immediate arrest situation, minimal disruption & coverage.
    Last edited by dahamsta; 30/01/2023 at 8:11 PM.
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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    I wonder are you making the mistake of thinking about this rationally though?

    I can see similarities in Putin's mindset, strangely. He invades Ukraine, Western governments start turning off the gas pipelines, seizing assets, banning the country from sporting events and so on. "Remove all that from him until he simply backs away", if you like. But a year later, Putin hasn't backed away, probably because he sees himself on a higher mission and doesn't recognise the authority of the punishing parties

    Obviously it's not an exact analogy - Burke can't lob missiles from the school for example - but I think it has a similar problem in terms of what we see a "cop yourself on" endpoint isn't at all what Burke sees. You could rinse and repeat a number of times. The media never refused a story or clicks either.

    I don't disagree with you. I just think in practice an endpoint isn't going to be that simple unfortunately

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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    I wonder are you making the mistake of thinking about this rationally though?

    I can see similarities in Putin's mindset, strangely. He invades Ukraine, Western governments start turning off the gas pipelines, seizing assets, banning the country from sporting events and so on. "Remove all that from him until he simply backs away", if you like. But a year later, Putin hasn't backed away, probably because he sees himself on a higher mission and doesn't recognise the authority of the punishing parties

    Obviously it's not an exact analogy - Burke can't lob missiles from the school for example - but I think it has a similar problem in terms of what we see a "cop yourself on" endpoint isn't at all what Burke sees. You could rinse and repeat a number of times. The media never refused a story or clicks either.

    I don't disagree with you. I just think in practice an endpoint isn't going to be that simple unfortunately
    I do see that side of it, but Burke ( and indeed his family are this way minded with previous ) so it won't be going away whichever way the state plays it, so make it publicity free and financially uncomfortable & look after the education of the pupils as a first priority, greater good etc. It doesn't create an end point, but it does manage the situation best as can be done maybe. Its go hard or pander and he, cleverly admittedly, has engineered it to this point. Either way, he has set his course and the state has to now react I guess.

    Do you see another way of playing it ?
    One which removes him from the school and the ensuing oxygen that gives this ?


    Interestingly, RTE online are still not mentioning this today, is it beginning to fade from being a top story or being shut down ?
    Last edited by CraftyToePoke; 30/01/2023 at 12:22 PM.
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    International Prospect sbgawa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanfhear View Post
    I wonder how it would all have played out if Enoch Burke was another religion ? ~ ~ Say ~ Jewish ~ Islamist ~ Hindu ~ Sikh ~

    Interesting to see how it would all have played out in that situation ?
    Simple , the School would have been told that he couldnt be forced to break his religious principles and he would have gone on calling the kid by the original name , probably while making sure he isnt in the kids classes (which would probably have been less upsetting in the long run).

    The problem i have with Burke is that he is such an extremeist that he polarises views completly.
    There is an arguement to be made that under 18s shouldnt be allowed make masive decsions like this while they are still kids but he is such a headbanger you just cant go there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sbgawa View Post
    Simple , the School would have been told that he couldnt be forced to break his religious principles and he would have gone on calling the kid by the original name , probably while making sure he isnt in the kids classes (which would probably have been less upsetting in the long run).

    The problem i have with Burke is that he is such an extremeist that he polarises views completly.
    There is an arguement to be made that under 18s shouldnt be allowed make masive decsions like this while they are still kids but he is such a headbanger you just cant go there.
    I agree that it would have been handled completely differently had Enoch Burke been one of the religions I mentioned earlier.

    Ireland sure is an interesting Country with some strange double standards ~ ~ OK. mostly this was for the establishment in the past, but there is still double standards today ~ ~ Which is interesting.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraftyToePoke View Post
    Do you see another way of playing it ?
    One which removes him from the school and the ensuing oxygen that gives this ?
    Not really, I'm afraid.

    The big problem with him is how disrespectful he is of views that aren't his own (and his siblings are the same). This bit of shouting people down in meetings seems a common theme. Or that Indo article I linked above has an interview with him where he ignores the questions he's asked and talks only about his own point. That's really awkward to deal with. It's like an internet forum row but in real life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sbgawa View Post
    Simple , the School would have been told that he couldnt be forced to break his religious principles and he would have gone on calling the kid by the original name , probably while making sure he isnt in the kids classes (which would probably have been less upsetting in the long run).

    The problem i have with Burke is that he is such an extremeist that he polarises views completly.
    There is an arguement to be made that under 18s shouldnt be allowed make masive decsions like this while they are still kids but he is such a headbanger you just cant go there.
    I don't think the child in question was ever in his classes ? Sure I heard that mentioned at one stage.

    & yes, I am full out jail him on this thread, but equally agree that the path to life & body altering surgery needs a much longer runway and very careful consideration & support pre final decision, particularly among young people, but this guy, well, its not about that with him is it.

    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    The big problem with him is how disrespectful he is of views that aren't his own (and his siblings are the same). This bit of shouting people down in meetings seems a common theme. Or that Indo article I linked above has an interview with him where he ignores the questions he's asked and talks only about his own point. That's really awkward to deal with. It's like an internet forum row but in real life.
    Yeah, agreed. This isn't about anything other than him being morally superior to us sinners if you boil it down, and thus above explaining himself or facilitating anything other than his own narrow sphere view.

    It really goes back to who on earth hired this guy into that role with that mindset already well established.
    Last edited by dahamsta; 30/01/2023 at 8:12 PM.
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    Attention whore. End of story. It's unfortunate that social media - and I include this site - allows this to happen. If his ridiculous shenanigans were only reported in the mainstream media, the story would have died an age ago. Whatever about older social media formats like this, I wish I could flick a switch on the likes of Twitter and Facebook. They're a cancer on humanity.

    I think, if given the opportunity of flicking a switch on the likes of Zuckerberg or Musk, I'd find it very hard not to, because they're also cancers. All billionaires are.

    Now there's naughty talk.

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    International Prospect osarusan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanfhear View Post
    I wonder how it would all have played out if Enoch Burke was another religion ? ~ ~ Say ~ Jewish ~ Islamist ~ Hindu ~ Sikh ~

    Interesting to see how it would all have played out in that situation ?
    It's not really about religion though is it?

    If a teacher who was also a member of any of those religions had done everything in the same prolonged toys-out-of-the-pram way that Enoch did, they'd be in the same trouble.

    Had he gone about it more maturely, there might be more of a debate on transgender issues, rather than people collectively groaning about what an idiot he has been.

    That said, there's only so far religious beliefs can be catered for. Using the example I gave earlier, if a teacher from some extremist religious sect or whatever, refused to teach evolution as their religion taught them the world was only a few thousand years old and was created by god, there wouldn't be anywhere near the publicity or people defending them or their right to stand up for their principles.

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