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Church of Ireland Synod: Enoch Burke supporters interrupt with anti-transgender protest

24 May 2024

Church of Ireland

The Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Revd John McDowell, addresses the Synod

The Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Revd John McDowell, addresses the Synod

THE Synod’s attempts to discuss mission and ministry were interrupted by an anti-transgender protest on behalf of an imprisoned former Church of Ireland schoolteacher (News 8 April 2023, 22 May 2023).

Two protesters entered the Synod chamber with a microphone and disrupted proceedings. The protesters, who also unfurled a banner, were the mother and brother of Enoch Burke, a former teacher at a church school who has been locked in an extended legal battle with both the school and the Irish courts over his refusal to use a transgender pupil’s new name and pronouns.

As Mr Burke continues to defy a court order compelling him to not enter the school grounds, he has repeatedly been imprisoned for contempt of court. His family members shouted questions at the Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Revd John McDowell, who refused to respond and immediately suspended the sitting of the Synod.

After a few minutes, the protesters left the hotel where the Synod was meeting. Later, the members took their seats to resume the session. The police were called, but no arrests were made.

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