Is the Burke family becoming radicalised beyond redemption? Is this about gender or cultism?

The Sunday World reported on Sunday 26th February 2023 how Dialogue Ireland had made attempts to meet with Enoch Burke.

Enoch Burke at Wilson’s Hospital School in Multyfarnham

Burke was in prison at Mountjoy Prison after breaching an injunction preventing him from teaching pending the outcome of a disciplinary process.

The school’s barrister had argued the disciplining was regarding Burke ignoring a lawful decision by his school’s board.

Religious mediator wrote to Enoch Burke in prison to open a ‘dialogue’“, Sunday World, Sunday 26th February 2023

NOCH INTERESTED | Religious mediator wrote to Enoch Burke in prison to open a ‘dialogue’

Burke family ‘closed off to all attempts for local dialogue’

Alan Sherry, Sunday World, Published Sunday 26th February 2023 and online Saturday 4th Mar 2023 at 07:53

The head of a group that mediates religious disputes says he has been unsuccessful in attempts to reach out to Enoch Burke’s family — and fears they will become more radical and entrenched in their views.

Mike Garde, who heads up Dialogue Ireland, said he was first contacted about the Burkes five years ago by Evangelical groups in the west of Ireland concerned about the family’s approach to religion and isolation from the wider community.

Mr Garde also wrote to teacher Enoch Burke while he was in jail for 108 days for contempt of court after he repeatedly defied court orders restraining him from showing up at Wilson’s Hospital School in Multyfarnham, Co Westmeath, following his suspension last year.

Burke was suspended after complaints about his conduct at a school service and his refusal to recognise a transgender student by their preferred pronouns, they/them.

Burke has cited his religious beliefs as the reason for his refusal to comply with the student’s, and the school’s, request.

Burke was released from prison in December despite not purging his contempt, and then continued to defy the court order by showing up at the school after the Christmas break. He has since been fined €700 for every day he turns up at the school.

Burke is challenging court orders including an injunction to stay away from the school.

Burke and his sister Ammi had to be removed from court earlier this month after attending court and disrupting proceedings, even though his challenge wasn’t due to be heard that day.

After the challenge was heard, the Court of Appeal reserved its judgement saying it would not delay in its ruling.

Members of the Burke family have previously disrupted a number of other proceedings, including inquest hearings and Workplace Relations Commission proceedings.

Mr Garde said there is no end in sight to the family’s campaign.

“Each time they’re ratcheting it up further. When you do that, it has to end in tears somewhere,” he said.

He said he had been contacted around five years ago about the Burkes by other religious people in the west of Ireland who wanted to open a dialogue with them.

The Burke family are described as Evangelical Christians but Mr Garde said they are not a member of any church.

“The family are not connected to any evangelical church and do not communicate with those around them in Mayo. They are just an own-brand closed family group.”

Other Evangelical Christians in the area had been hoping to open a dialogue with the Burkes a number of years ago but these attempts were unsuccessful.

“Over the last five years I’ve been getting calls from the Mayo area and have been trying to assist them because they’ve found they can’t connect with the Burkes. We suggested they invite them to a meeting to discuss things but they’re so cut off that even family members can’t even go to the property to talk to them.”

Mike Garde described the Burke family as being like a closed system.

“I would say the environment of the family home and this extreme belief system have created a world in which they no longer connect with the world outside so they move in the family unit, which is like a closed system.

“It’s nothing to do with what he believes; it is a family group who are not open to outside contact.”

“Mr Burke, Who Is From A Well-Known Family Of Evangelical Christians.”

This is used in every report and it is incorrect.

The Burke family outside the Bridewell garda station following Simeon Burke’s arrest on 7th March 2023.

The family are not connected to any Evangelical church and do not communicate with those around them in Mayo. They are just an own brand closed family group. They are not members of any Evangelical denomination nor do they have any connection with family members who are members of Evangelical- Pentecostal churches.

We tried to write to Enoch Burke when he was in Mountjoy, by tweet and in person on Christmas day to the Burke pop up shop in Castlebar, Co. Mayo.

Dear Mr. Burke,

I am Mike Garde, the Director of Dialogue Ireland, a Trust that tries to address issues around religion and cultism. As its name implies we encourage dialogue.

Having studied the activities of your family for the past few years we would be willing to allow you to publish a paper setting out your views on the current difficulties you find yourself in and publish this on the DI website. I personally would not participate in the debate but would only facilitate it. This would be totally uncensored and it would mean your views could then be responded to my other Christians and the general public. I was getting very concerned for your mental health and by the fact the situation was becoming so entrenched that no resolution could be found.

Additionally we had sent you a letter through a solicitor as I live 400 metres from the prison and would have been happy to discuss this with you in person. If you did receive the letter before leaving prison on Wednesday don’t ignore it but reply to me directly or call me on my mobile. But there is no need to reply to that solicitor now at all. I am going to get a person in Castlebar to deliver this email as as a letter as I have no email address for you. If you decide to participate here is my email address.



The Burke pop up shop in Castlebar, Co. Mayo

Dialogue Ireland is not trying to deal with the gender issue but with the growing radicalisation of Enoch Burke and his family.

Additional Reading

One Response

  1. The Burke family actions against legality and due court process has antagonised many people. Media attention-magnification has additionally raised emotions on the topic of transgender theory and medical practices. I think people wondering about children’s wellbeing at school and looking for information and newspaper reporting that they can trust need to set aside the turbulence generated by the Burke family actions. Not easy when hyper-emotions overwhelm quiet thinking! A lot of media reporting is opinion journalism. Reporting of medical and psychological facts doesn’t come freely when individual journalists are ideologically committed.

    Liked by 1 person

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