Enoch Burke ordered to pay €15,000 damages and legal costs to Wilson’s Hospital School

Enoch Burke has been ordered by the High Court to pay €15,000 in respect of Wilson’s Hospital’s legal costs in their High Court action action against Burke.

The general rule is that costs follow the event.

This means that the loser usually must pay the legal costs of the winner. There must be exceptional reasons as to why costs would not be ordered against the loser.

That was the rule applied in this decision of Justice Alexander Owens on Monday this week after what he described as an hour-long harangue against him by Mr Burke.

The High Court had previously held that the school was right to suspend Mr Burke from his teaching position, the school having argued that Mr Burke intimidated and harassed a colleague and breached the confidence of a student in the school who wished to transition.

Mr Burke argued that the disciplinary process against him was in breach of his constitutional rights in respect of freedom of expression of his religious beliefs.

The Judge advised Mr Burke that he was still free to appeal the original outcome of the High Court case.

Damages, in respect of trespass, and legal costs in the sum of €15,000 were awarded against Mr Burke. This was the figure sought by counsel for the school.

This damages and legal costs figure of €15,000 is in addition to the €700 per day fine imposed on Mr Burke for his ongoing breach of earlier orders to stay away from the school premises.

The judge said Mr Burke was entitled to protest outside the school gates but not on the school premises.