Enoch Burke returned to school in Westmeath this week.
A question that has been repeatedly asked on social media, and elsewhere, since his return to Wilson’s Hospital school after the Christmas holidays is why he is not being sent back to jail for breach of a High Court order.
Is the law being shown to be an ass? A toothless dragon?
Is Burke running rings around the judiciary and the legal system in the country?
These are some of the questions I have seen being posed online on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and elsewhere.
It is open to the school to go back again to the High Court to ask the court to have him imprisoned in Mountjoy jail. But they have not yet done so.
I have no inside knowledge in this matter. None whatsoever.
But I suspect what the school wants to do is proceed with the disciplinary meeting on 19th January next. This cannot happen if he is in Mountjoy.
Although, strictly speaking, it could probably proceed in his absence.
However, the school has previously postponed the disciplinary meeting scheduled last September when Burke was jailed. So, it seems the employer has decided it will adhere to its disciplinary process with Burke in attendance, or at least at liberty to attend.
Meanwhile, Burke has an application in the High Court next week on 11th January for an injunction preventing that disciplinary meeting going ahead.
The school will argue that the disciplinary must go ahead and that any employer has a right to impose discipline in the workplace and invoke the disciplinary procedure to ensure natural justice and fair procedure.
If Burke’s application for an injunction is rejected the school will hope to proceed to the disciplinary and conclude the process. That is assuming, of course, that Burke does not attempt to appeal any such decision.
Then the school/employer will look to bring the disciplinary process to an end, allowing for the appeal of any sanction imposed.
Whether it unfolds along these lines or not remains to be seen, however. Expecting further twists and turns in the saga would not be unreasonable.
But this spectacle will end, at least in this venue, sooner or later.