Secondary school teacher Enoch Burke and his sister Ammi were removed from a courtroom by gardaí after a High Court judge said he would not allow the business of the court to be disrupted by them.
Mr Justice Brian O'Moore said the courts were required to deal with issues of real, everyday importance to citizens and should not be prevented from doing so by the Burkes’ activities.
Mr Burke and his sister came to court despite the fact that a review of his case which had been originally scheduled to take place yesterday had been deferred earlier in the week.
He told the judge he wanted to raise concerns about an application by his former employer, Wilson’s Hospital School, to correct parts of some documents sworn in the case on behalf of the school.
He said the court had accepted the matter was urgent but he still did not know when it would be back in court.
The judge said both sides would be emailed about the issue later but he would not hear Mr Burke in person. More than 50 cases were listed before the judge yesterday morning.
After Mr Burke continued to speak, the judge left the courtroom.
Enoch and Ammi Burke remained despite being told by a garda and by court usher, Ian Barclay, that the judge was asking them to leave.
Mr Burke told the garda he did not interrupt the court, and did not intend to.
When proceedings resumed around an hour later. Mr Burke attempted to continue addressing the court.
The judge said he would not allow the business of the court to be disrupted and asked gardaí to remove Mr Burke.
Two gardaí then took Mr Burke by the arms and escorted him from the courtroom, telling him he could take a seat outside but could not come back in.
Mr Burke said it was a "disgrace" and he had a right to be heard. He stood looking in through the glass door of court number three, accompanied by a garda.
Ammi Burke remained in court and refused to leave despite being asked multiple times by the two members of An Garda Síochána.
She told the gardaí as well as lawyers in court that guards should not be directing her to leave, that the judge was fleeing the courtroom and it was a disgrace.
She asked "Where is Judge Brian O’Moore?" and asked why he was hiding and what he was afraid of.
Ms Burke was then removed from the courtroom with the assistance of another, female garda.
Both Burke siblings remained outside accompanied by gardai while Judge O’Moore returned to the bench and went through the rest of his list.
The judge said the operation of the list had been disturbed by two individuals who felt entitled to turn up unannounced with no notice to the other side.
They seemed, he said, to feel entitled to make groundless complaints and deliver themselves of abusive comments.
The judge said the courts were required to deal with issues which were of real, everyday importance to citizens. He said the best response was to get through the business the court was there to do.
He said people frequently talked about the importance of the rule of law.
This sometimes sounded tremendously pompous he said, but in the real world, it was absolutely critical that people who wanted to agitate issues before the court should not be prevented from doing so by activities that should not take place.
Judge O’Moore said he had more than 50 matters to deal with today.
They included a property owner seeking to recover assets, lay litigants taking a case against the State and other parties, who included the judge himself and a man in his eighties trying to put his affairs in order before he becomes unwell.
He said these parties had waited patiently for their cases to be heard while the operation of the list was disrupted.
He said the court would get on with its business and that is what he felt in a position to say "about the behaviour in court for the last number of hours."
When it became clear at around 2.15pm that the court’s business was finished for the day, Mr Burke and his sister left the Four Courts, without making any comment.
Last night, Mr Justice O'Moore said Mr Burke’s activities in court had been an effort to "court publicity."
He made his comment in directions, published last night, relating to the issue about affidavits raised by Mr Burke in court this morning.
Judge O’Moore said Mr Burke had attended court without notice to the court, without filling out any of the relevant paperwork and without notifying solicitors for the school.
The judge said he could have emailed the registrar with his inquiry or given notice to the school.
But he said Mr Burke chose to "court publicity by disturbing the efforts of other litigants to get their cases listed" and behaved in such a manner that it was impossible to continue to deal with the list until Mr Burke and one of his siblings had been removed.
The judge said the number of judgments in the case so far gave some sense of the amount of court time and resources the court had absorbed which he said was to the detriment of other litigants, patiently waiting for their own cases to get on.
He said the errors in affidavit evidence had been brought to the attention of the court by the school, two weeks ago, with no prior notice to the judge or to Mr Burke.
He said he had since had to consider four new affidavits filed by the school as well as go through all the previous affidavits filed before him since October last year.
As the affidavits containing the errors had not been relied on by the school in any of the hearings before him, he said the correct course of action was to bring the errors to the attention of the relevant judges, Ms Justice Stack, Mr Justice Barrett and Mr Justice Dignam who had dealt with other orders in the case.
He said both the school and Mr Burke were free to do this.
The court was originally due to review Mr Burke’s contempt of court after the imposition of a daily fine of €700 two weeks ago for continuing to breach a high court injunction.
It was also due to review the issue of costs. But the hearing was deferred by the judge earlier in the week due to pressure on the court’s lists. He told the parties they would be notified of a new date.
Mr Burke’s appeal against the injunction granted to the school is due to be heard next week.