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26th Feb 2019

PIC: 800-Year-Old ‘Crusader’ Mummy’s Head Stolen From St Michan’s Church Crypt In Dublin

Kiara Keane

The head of an 800-year-old mummy known as ‘The Crusader’ has been stolen from the crypt at St Michan’s Church in Dublin after it was vandalised over the weekend.

It’s been confirmed that the crypt, which has been open to the public since the 1930s, will now remain closed “for the foreseeable future”.

The vandalism was discovered just before lunchtime on Monday as a guide prepared to open the Church Street site to visitors.

The crypt is said to have been “badly damaged” after the vault’s steel door was broken open. One of the coffins was also broken open and some of the contents were dragged out.

Another mummy of a 400-year-old nun was also desecrated and had her head turned 180 degrees to face the wrong way. A third had been turned on its side.

The Archdeacon of Dublin, the Venerable David Pierpoint, told the Irish Times, “These are people who have been lying at rest for years and years and to have them desecrated in such a sacrilegious way is so distressing and disturbing.

“I can’t put it in words, I’m quite disgusted. The likelihood is we’ll have to close these vaults and close our tourist facility.”

The crypt was also vandalised back in 1996 when teenagers broke in and took a number of bodies out of their coffins and “seemed to be playing football with the heads”.

They were quickly caught by guards and the crypt was then closed for a week while the bodies were reconsecrated.

Gardaí confirmed they are currently investigating and are appealing for anyone with any information to contact them at Bridewell Garda station on 01-6668200.

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