Saturday 21 September 2019

St Michan’s Church crypt to reopen to public for first time since theft of mummy's head

The 800-year-old 'Crusader'
The 800-year-old 'Crusader'
Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson and Catholic Archbishop Dr Diarmuid Martin at St Michan’s Church
The entrance to the crypt

Allison Bray

The Dublin crypt that made headlines around the world after vandals broke in and stole the head of an 800-year-old mummy and another skull is to re-open next week.

The crypt at St Michan’s Church on Arran Quay will reopen on Tuesday at 11am.

The Church of Ireland crypt has been closed to visitors since vandals broke in on February 23-24 this year.

A mummy known as the Crusader was decapitated. The remains of a 400-year-old nun were also stolen and some of the bones of the Crusader were found outside the coffin.

The motive for the crime remains a mystery.

A 35-year-old Dublin man was charged  on March 5 under the Theft and Fraud Offences Act when the head of the Crusader and another skull were recovered by gardai operating from the Bridewell Garda Station.

The Crusader’s head and the other skull were found together in a bag on the grounds of a northside church.

Church of Ireland Archbishop Michael Jackson reconsecrated the crypt on April 11 after both he and Catholic Church Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin appealed to those responsible to “examine their consciences” and return the remains.

Specialists from the National Museum restored the skulls and returned them to the crypt. A local undertaker provided new coffins and returned the remains to the coffins.

Security has now been increased to prevent any further break-ins in the future.

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