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Dublin: 10 °C Friday 26 April, 2019
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Man arrested over theft of 800-year-old mummy head from crypt of Dublin Church

The item was stolen over the weekend of 23-25 February from St Michan’s, gardaí said earlier this week.

skull-michans St Michan's skull recovered by Gardaí Source: An Garda Síochána

A MAN HAS been arrested in connection with the theft of the of an 800-year-old mummy known as ‘The Crusader’, which was stolen from the crypts of St Michan’s Church last week. 

The discovery of the theft at the crypt of the church on Church Street was made shortly before lunchtime on Monday 25 February 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 head of the mummy was recovered on Monday

A man in his 20s has now been arrested in connection with the break-in and theft. 

He is currently being detained at Bridewell Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984. 

Archbishops of Dublin to Visit St Michan's Church The crypt at St Michan's church in Dublin Source: Leah Farrell via RollingNews.ie

The items were stolen over the weekend of the 23rd-25th February, gardaí said earlier this week. Gardaí also recovered another skull which was stolen during the theft. 

Last week, 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”.

The items were recovered as a result of information given to investigating gardaí.

The National Museum of Ireland is acting in an advisory capacity in the case. 

Archbishop Jackson welcomed Monday’s recovery saying that “the emphasis will now be able to turn to consideration of future security and display of the remains in the crypt of St Michan’s”. 

“Renewed thanks go to all who have shown interest and concern for the mummies. They are a priceless part of the heritage of the city of Dublin and its citizens”.

With reporting by Cónal Thomas

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