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Dublin: 1°C Saturday 17 April 2021

Man (35) charged over theft of 800 year-old mummified 'Crusader' head from Dublin church

The Crusader was decapitated and the head was stolen from St Michan’s Church last month.

The head of
The head of "The Crusader" which was stolen from St Michan's Church last month
Image: RollingNews.ie

A 35-YEAR-OLD man has been charged with burglary over the theft of a mummified head of an 800-year-old “Crusader” knight from a church in Dublin.

The Crusader was decapitated at the crypt in St Michan’s Church, Church Street, on the weekend of 23-24 February last, and his head was taken along with another skull.

The break-in was discovered on 25 February, when a guide about to open the church for visitors found the head of the Crusader had been severed from its body and was missing.

On 5 March, investigating gardaí from the Bridewell station recovered the head of the Crusader and another skull that had been taken from the crypt.

This evening, Brian Bridgeman, with an address at Kings Inns Street, Dublin 1, was brought to appear before Judge Michael Walsh at Dublin District Court.

Evidence of arrest, charge and caution was given by Garda Niall Cadden.

The defendant, who has not yet indicated how he will plead, made no reply when charged, the court heard.

He was charged under Section 12 of the Theft and Fraud Offences Act, with an accusation that while trespassing at St Michan’s Church he had committed theft at at time between 23 and 24 February last.

Judge Walsh asked the garda if the case related to recent matters he had read about in the newspapers.

The garda confirmed that it did, and the court heard directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions were awaited.

He also objected to bail.

Legal aid was granted following an application by defence solicitor Eoin Lysaght, who asked the court to set bail.

The judge agreed to grant bail in the defendant’s own bond of €200, of which €100 must be lodged before he can be released with conditions that he must reside at another address furnished to the court, sign on daily at Blanchardstown Garda station, obey a 10pm–6am curfew, and be contactable at all times by mobile phone.

The man, who remained silent during the hearing, was remanded in custody with consent to bail on these terms and will face his next hearing on 21 March at Cloverhill District Court.

Last week another man in his 20s was arrested as part of the investigation but he was later released without charge.

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Tom Tuite

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