Home

Church of Ireland Home

Diocesan News

St Michan’s Church crypt to reopen to the public following vandalism

Head of 800 year old mummy returns to resting place

The crypt housing the mummies at St Michan’s Church, Church Street, Dublin 7, will reopen to the public on Tuesday next, July 9, at 11am.

The crypt has been closed since it was broken into over the weekend of February 23/24 2019. During the break in the head of the 800 year old mummy known as ‘The Crusader’ was stolen along with another skull.

During the break in coffins in the crypt were vandalised and other mummified remains, including those of a 400 year old nun, were desecrated. Some of the bones of The Crusader were scattered outside the coffin.

Prayers are said outside the crypt of St Michan's during its reconsecration. Pictured are the Revd Ross Styles, Archdeacon David Pierpont and Archbishop Michael Jackson.
Prayers are said outside the crypt of St Michan's during its reconsecration. Pictured are the Revd Ross Styles, Archdeacon David Pierpont and Archbishop Michael Jackson.

An investigation was launched by An Garda Síochána and, following information received, Gardaí from the Bridewell Station recovered both The Crusader’s head and the skull on March 5.

Since then, in conjunction with the National Museum, the head of The Crusader has been undergoing restoration. It is being returned to the crypt.  Nichols undertakers have generously provided new coffins and re–coffined the mummified remains. Increased security measures have been put in place at St Michan’s.

The incident drew worldwide attention to the Dublin church and prompted outcry throughout Dublin city. Local people, for whom the mummies at St Michan’s are particularly special, rallied to offer their support and sympathy.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and Archbishop Michael Jackson at the entrance to the crypt of St Michan's Church.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and Archbishop Michael Jackson at the entrance to the crypt of St Michan's Church.

Both archbishops of Dublin, Archbishop Michael Jackson and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, visited the crypt in the wake of the break in and appealed to those responsible to examine their consciences.

President Michael D Higgins visited St Michan’s on April 10. The crypt was reconsecrated by Archbishop Michael Jackson on April 11 with prayers so that those who had lain there for centuries could once again be at rest.

The crypt at St Michan’s had been targeted by vandals previously in 1996.