Rising to global notoriety overnight, prisoner Enoch Burke entered the state’s custody this week following a refusal to comply with an injunction on teaching at the Westmeath school he works at. 

A teacher of German and History, Burke earned himself prison stripes by not indulging in a pupil’s gender fantasies and obeying a subsequent court order to stay away from the school. Citing his religious faith, Burke has stated he’ll remain in prison as long as it takes without acquiescing after being placed on paid suspension from Wilson’s Hospital School in Co Westmeath.

Specifically jailed for breaking the injunction rather than the refusal itself, Burke has understandably become a free speech martyr and a veritable headache for authorities no doubt realising the obscenity of the PR situation they’ve embroiled themselves in.

Remaining in prison until such time he complies with the court order to stay away from campus, the Burke imprisonment has done the rounds on the global free speech circuit from Jordan Peterson to the British gutter press. Athlone’s contribution to the global culture war.

While separate from hate speech legislation, which is inbound the next 6 months if Helen McEntee has her way, the ordeal is being taken by many as a precursor for the laws. And for good reason.

This is not the de facto hate speech test case the state would like to fight. Paddy and Mary are just about at the stage they’d begrudgingly tolerate the jailing of a character like Gemma O’Doherty for hate speech offences, a twenty something year old muinteoir for misgendering a student less so.

If the Department of Justice thinks putting a secondary teacher from Athlone behind bars is messy wait until they are jailing every old lad uttering the word ‘knacker’ in a WhatsApp group this side of Castlebar. 

From a family that helped keep NUIG in check when they tried to trample on their rights before, we owe Burke a debt of gratitude for taking the first bullet and potentially watering down hate speech legislation down the line.

This stubborn man behind the wire may have helped us all down the line.

Posted by Ciaran Brennan


  1. Hopefully, lessons about so-called ‘hate speech’ will be learned, especially by Minister McEntee who is in thrall to state-funded NGOs


  2. Declan Hayes 07/09/2022 at 10:21 pm

    Good post. A young Evangelical Christian shows up the rest of us. The Burkes are united and “in heart and conscience free.” As for the rest of us, we have Fintan O’Toole, Fintan Warfield and Panti Bliss.


  3. After OJS acquittal Norm MacDonald commented on SNL “Well it’s finally official murder is now legal in the State of California!”

    Well it’s finally official – speaking the truth is now illegal in the state of Ireland!!


  4. The various Irish Antifa trolls are wetting their briefs . Their online professional looking activity looks extremely well funded .


  5. charles simmonds 08/09/2022 at 5:48 pm

    I agreed with the article but I find it unfortunate that Ciaran Brennan seems to implicitly accept the framing of Gemma O’Doherty as some kind of pariah (“a character like Gemma O’Doherty”).

    freedom of speech is indivisible and if the Burkean does not also extend its unqualified support to Gemma O’Doherty’s right of free speech, then it is foolishly sawing at the branch on which it itself sits


    1. Spender_CGB 12/09/2022 at 9:53 am

      I am in complete agreement with you! Gemma O’Doherty needs to be heard too.

      Interestingly, she has recently interviewed one of the great modern Catholic thinkers (and writers) E. Michael Jones.



  6. In all circumstances, under all conditions, “hate speech” is s grift. No exceptions, no qualifications.


  7. Ivaus@thetricolour 08/09/2022 at 6:46 pm

    Should a MAN expect to be addressed as a man, fair enough go ahead.
    Should a WOMAN expect the same privilege, fair enough go ahead.
    Should all those people whose profession expect a SIR, ok no problem.
    SO, as a ( Tran ? ) it’s what they expect,not us, seem ok with that now???
    But Mick here wants to be addressed as God now,can’t argue at that ?
    And what if a Michael,working under a title became THE GOD, what
    would you say to that,or added on a ( Tran ? ) expectation just to be sure,
    What, what now you ignorant lowlife, non titled underprivileged useless
    eater have to say about that,What, WHAT !!
    Ah sure,your takin the mick now,you’re all taking the bloody mick, JMnJ


  8. This really has caught the attention of the media, especially in US. Compelled speech is not practical to police to start with, and becoming more difficult to do so when people refuse to be re-labelled by a minority screaming for special status.


  9. Liam Sherry 09/09/2022 at 7:48 am

    Mc Entee makes my piss boil. She’s an
    incompetent fool. Heard her being ‘interviewed’ on newstalk, what a stomach churning load of rubbish.
    It was all lovely, touchy, fuzzy time.

    We need a proper journalist with the right questions to take this idiot apart.

    She’s in one of biggest jobs in government only because of a sympathy vote.

    And by the way I could be arrested for this comment if that moron gets her way.


  10. Whenever I read about forced speech and the punishments for disobedience, I think of only one thing – the Declaration Against Transubstantiation. What a comfortable English child we all could have been had we only obeyed – we wouldn’t have lost our lands, our livelihoods, our lives, our language. We judged freedom of conscience to be worth every sacrifice. Enoch Burke wears that mantle now. He will not become a comfortable Woke child.


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