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Saturday 19 October 2019

Fears Crusader's head will crumble when it dries out

Crypt: The 800-year-old Crusader from St Michan’s
Crypt: The 800-year-old Crusader from St Michan’s
Ryan Nugent

Ryan Nugent

There are fears the recovered stolen head of an 800-year-old Crusader may be so damaged that it could crumble when it dries out.

Archdeacon of Dublin David Pierpoint said the process of trying to restore the Crusader's head - which was stolen last week but subsequently found by gardaí on Tuesday - has already begun.

He said a drying out process is currently ongoing, but admitted it would be impossible to reattach the skull.

Speaking to 'Morning Ireland', the Archdeacon said he received the call that it had been found on Tuesday afternoon by gardaí from Bridewell.

"I immediately went down to the station and examined the skull and the head," he said.

"Unfortunately they were quite saturated and damp and wet so they've gone to the museum now to begin the process of trying to dry them out," he added.

David Pierpoint, Archdeacon of Dublin pictured outside St Michan's Church. Photo: Damien Eagers
David Pierpoint, Archdeacon of Dublin pictured outside St Michan's Church. Photo: Damien Eagers

"But my fear is that once they start drying out they'll just begin to crumble."

He said they will have to see what comes of the drying out process and they will possibly have to put them in a coffin and re-inter them in the vaults.

Archdeacon Pierpoint said he is so far unaware of how they were recovered. "The head of the Crusader was completely severed from the neck and spine.

"It's very unlikely that it can be reattached as such but it certainly can be laid back in its proper place," he said.

However, he said they will have to await experts' findings before deciding whether it can ever be put on public view again.

It's understood that the head of the Crusader along with another skull were seen being carried in a shopping bag by the suspect responsible for its desecration, while walking along the Quays in the city centre.

Irish Independent

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