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Crypt of St Michan’s Church, Dublin, desecrated by vandals

St Michan’s Church on Church Street, Dublin 7, has been targeted by thieves who have vandalised its crypt and taken the head of an 800 year old mummy known as ‘The Crusader’.

The discovery was made shortly before lunch time today (Monday February 25) when the guide was preparing to open the church for visitors.

The crypt has been badly damaged and several of the mummies, including the 400 year old remains of a nun, have been desecrated in the incident. The Crusader’s body was turned over and his head has been removed.

The Archbishop of Dublin has expressed sadness and outrage at the incident. “I am shocked that someone would target this ancient burial place and desecrate the remains of those lying within it. Not only have these individuals desecrated the sacred crypt but they have destroyed these historic mummies which have been preserved in St Michan’s for hundreds of years. I would appeal to those responsible to examine their consciences and return the head of The Crusader to its rightful place,” he stated.

The Vicar of the Christ Church Cathedral Group of Parishes, of which St Michan’s is part, Archdeacon David Pierpoint, said he is upset and disappointed that the church has been targeted again by vandals. The crypt of St Michan’s was vandalised in 1996.

“The actions of these people are devastating and sacrilegious. We are upset at the amount of damage that has been caused. But also the crypt will have to close so tourists will not be able to visit. It is very frustrating,” he said adding: “I would appeal to anyone with information to contact the Gardaí.”

The incident is being investigated by An Garda Síochána.