Desecration of 800-year-old 'Crusader' at Dublin church 'an offence to the city'

Desecration of 800-year-old 'Crusader' at Dublin church 'an offence to the city'
The 'Crusader' that was vandalised at St Manchan's Church in Dublin

The desecration of an 800-year-old mummified body at a church in Dublin has been described as 'an offence to the city'.

Thieves broke into a crypt at St Michan's Church and stole the head of one mummy called The Crusader, while damaging a number of others.

The Archbishops of Dublin from both the Church of Ireland and the Catholic Church visited the site this morning to observe the damage.

It is not clear if the crypt at the church will reopen to the public again.

Catholic Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is urging anyone with information to contact gardai.

"You can there's a lot of damage and they've broken open the coffins," he said.

"As a Dubliner, I feel this is an offence to the city, and it's a sad thing to see."

The head of the mummified body which was stolen would have started to deteriorate once it was taken.

Church of Ireland Archbishop for Dublin Michael Jackson says the temperature in the crypt is kept consistent to prevent the bodies from disintegrating.

"It is of no help to us for an irreplaceable piece of humanity to be separated from the place it is safe in its rest," he said.

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