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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019
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Head of 800-year-old mummy stolen from crypt of St Michan's Church in Dublin

The Church of Ireland said the crypt was badly damaged by vandals.

A (file) photo from outside the crypt.
A (file) photo from outside the crypt.
Image: Nicky Ryan/TheJournal.ie

THIEVES WHO VANDALISED a crypt in Dublin have stolen the head of an 800-year-old mummy known as The Crusader.

The discovery at the crypt of St Michan’s Church on Church Street was made shortly before lunchtime today when a guide was preparing to open the church for visitors.

The Church of Ireland said the crypt had been “badly damaged” and several of the mummies inside, including the 400-year-old remains of a nun, had been desecrated. The Crusader’s body was turned over and his head had been removed.

The Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson said he was “shocked that someone would target this ancient burial place and desecrate the remains of those lying within it”.

Not only have these individuals desecrated the sacred crypt but they have destroyed these historic mummies which have been preserved in St Michan’s for hundreds of years. I would appeal to those responsible to examine their consciences and return the head of The Crusader to its rightful place.

5316 Robbery Archdeacon David Pierpoint said the church has to be closed to tourists now. Source: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The Vicar of the Christ Church Cathedral Group of Parishes, of which St Michan’s is part, Archdeacon David Pierpoint said he is upset and disappointed that the church has been targeted again by vandals. The crypt was also vandalised back in 1996.

“The actions of these people are devastating and sacrilegious. We are upset at the amount of damage that has been caused,” he said.

“But also the crypt will have to close so tourists will not be able to visit. It is very frustrating. I would appeal to anyone with information to contact the gardaí.”

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