In 1858 Rev Burke’s first wife Catherine died. After her death it appears that he went to live in Dublin for some time, away from the West of Ireland, away from the sadness of the loss of his wife.
He appeared to keep a low profile for some time, his name absent from the newspaper columns. He did not appear in the church records for a short period either. In October 1861 he married his second wife Emily McArthur, who would become mother to Emily.