800-year-old stolen saint's heart returned to Dublin cathedral

The 800-year-old heart of Dublin's patron saint has been recovered by police, six years after it was stolen from a cathedral in the city.

The relic - the heart of St Laurence O'Toole - was taken from Christ Church Cathedral in 2012.

It has no monetary value but is "a priceless treasure" for the church, the cathedral's Dean, the Very Reverend Dermot Dunne, said.

The theft of the relic, which had been kept in a wooden heart-shaped box and placed within a small iron-barred cage, sparked a six-year investigation by Gardai.

It will be presented to the Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Reverend Dr Michael Jackson on Thursday evening by Garda Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy.

The heart of St Laurence O'Toole
The heart of St Laurence O'Toole

Archbishop Jackson thanked those who had helped recover the relic, and described the return of the heart as a joyful moment for the people of the city.

He said: "The return of the heart of Laurence O'Toole to Christ Church Cathedral brings great joy to the people of Dublin as Dubliners.

"For those of us associated with the life of the dioceses, it brings again to the fore the close relationship between Glendalough and Dublin, a relationship of more than 800 years.

"Laurence left the monastic city of Glendalough of which he was Abbot to become Archbishop of Dublin, hence cementing a vibrant relationship that continues unabated to this day."

Rev Dunne said he was "delighted" at the relic's return.

He said: "I said at the time it was stolen that the relic has no economic value but it is a priceless treasure that links the cathedral's present foundation with its founding father, St Laurence O'Toole."

Assistant Commissioner Leahy commended officers who he said had "kept their radars on and their minds open in this ongoing investigation".

Gardai said no arrests have been made.

There will now be a shrine to St Laurence, who died in 1180, in the cathedral, the church said, noting that they had looked at their security since the theft and continue to have regular reviews.

- PA


More in this Section

We just want financial and employment security say Ireland's 20-year-olds We just want financial and employment security say Ireland's 20-year-olds

Headstones erected at unmarked graves of 1920 Bloody Sunday victimsHeadstones erected at unmarked graves of 1920 Bloody Sunday victims

Limerick University Hospital's second MRI scanner will have 'very significant impact' on waiting timesLimerick University Hospital's second MRI scanner will have 'very significant impact' on waiting times

Six women and five men to face charges relating to over 200 counts of sexual abuse and child neglectSix women and five men to face charges relating to over 200 counts of sexual abuse and child neglect


Lifestyle

Sorting out Cork people for ages...Ask Audrey: Is it still ok to just lob the gob after 10 pints?

Nip those winter ailments in the bud with the help of garden bounty. Fiann Ó Nualláin shows you how.Have a berry merry Christmas with the help of garden bounty

Dig a planting hole around three times the size of its pot and around the same depth, loosening the soil around the hole.Your quick guide to planting trees

The early morning routine is always the same. I get up, have a quick breakfast before helping my brother, who I live with, get his kids ready for school.Working Life with Dr Muslim Moula Buksh

More From The Irish Examiner