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Police called as Enoch Burke’s family stage protest at Church of Ireland synod in Armagh

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The incident happened during the second day of the Church of Ireland synod.

Proceedings were halted for 45 minutes after Mr Burke’s mother Martina and brother Josiah publicly challenged church leaders.

All Ireland primate John McDowell and Bishop of Meath and Kildare Pat Storey were among the attendees at the event at the Armagh City Hotel.

The PSNI confirmed officers attended “a report of a disturbance” but said no criminal offences had been detected.

Enoch Burke has been at the centre of a long-running case in the Irish Republic which began two years ago after he refused to use a transgender student’s chosen pronouns because of his Christian beliefs.

He has since been jailed for repeatedly showing up at Wilson’s Hospital School, a Church of Ireland boarding school in Westmeath, after being sacked.

Video footage from Saturday’s incident shows Martina Burke entering the room with a microphone in hand as Bishop Storey was speaking.

She questions Archbishop McDowell directly on why Enoch Burke was suspended from Wilson’s Hospital School “for upholding the Church of Ireland ethos”.

Archbishop John McDowell is challenged by members of the Burke family today.

The Archbishop immediately suspended business.

Josiah Burke is seen unfolding a poster of his brother which states: “Enoch Burke 354 days in prison”.

As Ms Burke continues to address the room, some delegates can be seen leaving.

At one point, one delegate appears to encourage her to leave the room.

After several minutes, the Burkes left the room and held a demonstration at the hotel gates for over an hour.

A Church of Ireland spokesperson said: “Mrs Burke and members of her family entered the meeting of the General Synod of the Church of Ireland in Armagh.

“The business of the General Synod was suspended and resumed 45 minutes later to conclude the report that had been in progress at the time.”

A PSNI spokesperson said: “Police received a report of a disturbance at a hotel in the Friary Road area of Armagh, shortly before 2.30pm on Saturday May 11. Officers provided advice to a number of people, but no criminal offences were detected.

“Officers remained in the area at a small peaceful protest, which passed without incident.”

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