Vandal played football with skull
AN inner city teenager who played football with a child's skull when he vandalised the 1,000 year-old St Michan's Church burial vault has been given six years detention by Judge Cyril Kelly at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Anthony Dillon (17) of Lindore Buildings, Dublin 7, pleaded guilty to charges of arson, causing criminal damage and stealing tools at the site between July 6 and July 9, 1996.
Canon David Pierpoint told Judge Kelly some of the 60 coffins totally destroyed dated from 1680.
The vault had eight burial chambers with about 10-12 coffins in each and it run under the sanctuary and alter. Canon Pierpoint said the church salvaged some of the coffins and remains after the vandalism and reburied them. Records of a lot of the coffins were lost in 1922. The vault was now sealed.
Detective Garda Anthony Whelan told prosecuting counsel Fergal Foley BL that Dillon and two other accused believed valuables were being kept in the vaults. They took out a child's coffin outside and dismembered the corpse. The accused played football with the child's head. A torch used by the three caused extensive burn damage to the vaults.
Defence counsel Luigi Rea BL said Dillon had been abusing illegal drugs since he was 12. He was 13 at the time the offences took place.
Judge Kelly said that St Michan's was of great historical value. The vaults had been there for a 1000 years and should have been there for people in the next millennium.
Judge Kelly said the destruction of the child's body was particularly disturbing. What happened amounted to desecration of a place of divine worship.
Judge Kelly said the sentence was unsuitable for review because of Dillon's criminal propensity. He also declined leave to appeal.