Republic of Ireland news

Stolen decapitated head of 800-year-old Crusader recovered by gardaí

The decapitated head of "The Crusader" mummy, which has now been recovered after being stolen from a crypt at St Michan's Church in Dublin last month. Picture by Gardaí, Press Association
Cate McCurry, Press Association

Police have recovered the decapitated head of an 800-year-old mummy that was stolen from a church in Dublin.

The head of The Crusader was taken from a crypt in St Michan's Church last month.

The crime was discovered when a guide went to open the church for visitors.

The vault was badly damaged and several of the mummies, including the 400-year-old remains of a nun, had been desecrated.

The Crusader's body was turned over and his head removed.

Officers from Bridewell garda station said they recovered the head of The Crusader on Tuesday and another skull that had been taken over the weekend of February 24.

A garda spokesman said: "The items were recovered as a result of information that came into the possession of the investigating gardaí.

"The National Museum of Ireland are acting in an advisory capacity.

"An Garda Siochana would like to thank the public for their assistance in the investigation, which remains ongoing."

The Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson had described his outrage at the incident last month.

"I am shocked that someone would target this ancient burial place and desecrate the remains of those lying within it," he said.

"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."

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