Historic crypts at St Michan’s Church reconsecrated as local spirit praised

by Dublin Gazette

Following February’s break-in, the crypts at St Michan’s Church in Smithfield have been reconsecrated by Church of Ireland Archbishop Michael Jackson.

The reconsecration took place on April 11, meaning that the crypts are now regarded as a sacred place once again, and that those buried in the crypts can again be at rest.

A dedication of a new community garden in the grounds of the church also took place on the day, attended by parishioners, representatives of the local community and An Garda Siochana, including those who led the investigation into the events at the crypt.

Commending the project, Archbishop Jackson said, “The wonderful thing is the way in which in the midst of such business and sophistication there is a reconnection with the earth here. To see a green space and to use it in this way is wonderful.

“It draws together a range of the Five Marks of Mission but particularly nurturing and care of the creation, and it is in the middle of an area dealing with justice,” he said.

The garden and raised beds will be kept by the parish, local schools and Church Street Community Garden.

President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina visited St Michan’s to see the damage done, and to express their support for the parish on the day before the reconsecration.

On the weekend of February 23, the head of a mummified person known as ‘the Crusader’ was stolen alongside another skull, and other mummies in the crypts were disturbed and defiled in a seeming one-man operation that shocked the city.

The skull and mummy’s head were recovered by An Garda Siochana on March 5, with a man arrested in connection with the crime.

The church was founded in 1095 and is renowned for its burial vaults, containing the mummified remains of many of Dublin’s most influential families buried there between 1600 and 1800.

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