Gardai recover head and skull stolen from St Michan’s crypt

by Rachel Darcy

An Garda Siochana have recovered the head of ‘The Crusader’ mummy that was stolen from St Michan’s Church last week, as well as a human skull.

The mummy’s head was stolen in what is believed to have been a pre-planned break-in at the Church of Ireland crypt in Smithfield.

The Crusader’s head had been severed from its body in the desecration on the weekend of February 23, in addition to having its body turned over.

Several other mummies were also violated in the crypt, including the 400-year-old remains of a nun.

A human skull was also recovered by Gardai from Bridewell Garda Station, with the items recovered following information given to Gardai investigating the break-in.

The stolen skull from St Michan’s Church

The Museum of Ireland are acting in an advisory capacity to An Garda Siochana in the wake of the discovery.

Archdeacon of Dublin, and parish vicar of St Michan’s, David Pierpoint initially told the media after the late-February attack that the incident was “possible vandalism”.

However, a day later, he said it was believed to be a planned attack on the crypt, adding: “Having reflected on it … it would appear that whoever got into the vault came prepared to do damage.”

The Archbishop of Dublin, Michael Jackson, welcomed the recovery of the missing skulls on Tuesday evening.

He said: “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.

“The emphasis will now be able to turn to the consideration of future security and display of the remains in the crypt of St Michan’s.”

As a result of the vandalism, the crypts have been shut to tourists, and will be closed for the foreseeable future.

Anyone with further information on the incident is asked to contact Bridewell Garda Station at 01 666 8200.

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