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Dublin: 7°C Wednesday 21 April 2021

St Michan's Church crypt to reopen to public after theft of mummified head

The Crusader was decapitated at the crypt in St Michan’s Church, Church Street in February of this year.

Image: An Garda Síochána

THE CRYPT HOUSING mummies at St Michan’s Church in Dublin will reopen to the public next week after the mummified head of an 800-year-old ‘Crusader’ was stolen earlier this year. 

The Crusader was decapitated at the crypt in St Michan’s Church, Church Street in February of this year and stolen, along with another skull.

On 5 March, gardaí recovered both the head of the crusader and the second skull.

The crypt has been closed since it was broken into in February. 

During the break in, a number of coffins in the crypt and other mummified remains, including those of a 400 year old nun, were desecrated. 

Since then, in conjunction with the National Museum of Ireland, the head of The Crusader has been undergoing restoration and it is being returned to the crypt.

Nichols undertakers have provided new coffins and re-coffined the mummified remains.

Increased security measures have also been put in place at St Michan’s.

Both archbishops of Dublin, Archbishop Michael Jackson of the Church of Ireland and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of the Catholic Church, visited the crypt in the wake of the break in.

President Michael D Higgins visited St Michan’s on 10 April. The crypt was reconsecrated by Archbishop Michael Jackson 11 April with prayers.

On 28th June, a 36-year-old man admitted to stealing the mummified head from the church. 

Brian Bridgeman, with an address at Fortlawn Park, Blanchardstown, Dublin, appeared briefly before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where he was arraigned.

He pleaded guilty to entering the vaults of St Michan’s between 23 and 24 February last as a trespasser and committing theft.

Judge Martin Nolan adjourned the case for sentencing on 24 July. Bridgeman was remanded in custody.

With reporting by Jessica Magee

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