Enoch Burke to be released from Mountjoy next week without purging his contempt?

5/9/22 Enoch Burke (C), being brought into the Four Courts by Gardaí, accompanied by his father, Sean Burke (L). PIC: Collins Courts

Enoch Burke could be released from Mountjoy Prison next week without purging his contempt. This is the speculation in the Irish Times this morning.

The release could come about if the disciplinary process at Wilson’s Hospital School came to an end next Wednesday as the need for the injunction would no longer exist.

‘Informed sources’ say that the disciplinary meeting to deal with the employment/disciplinary/gross misconduct allegations against Burke in the workplace will come to a conclusion when the Board of Management of the school reaches a decision on Wednesday.

This would pave the way for Burke’s release as there would no longer be a need for the injunction. This remains to be seen, however.

The only way the disciplinary can come to an end, as I see it, is for one of the range of sanctions in the disciplinary process to be arrived at.

The range of sanctions run from ‘no case to answer, go back to work’ to verbal warning to written warning to dismissal and termination of employment.

If I was a betting man, I know where my money would be. But let’s wait and see and not prejudge anything.

From an employment law perspective, however, a disciplinary process that concludes without the employee being present, if that is the case, could be problematic.

It may be the case that Burke has already had his opportunity to put his case and all that is happening next week is the Board of Management will make its decision known.

I simply do not know as I do not know what stages of the disciplinary were successfully negotiated and gone through.

Nevertheless, you do not need any special skills of perception or being able to predict the future to confidently predict that further legal actions are likely to flow from whatever happens next Wednesday in the school Board of Management meeting and in the High Court.

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