Man appears in court charged with stealing 800-year-old skull from Dublin crypt

Man appears in court charged with stealing 800-year-old skull from Dublin crypt

A man has been charged after an historic Dublin church crypt was “desecrated” and the head of an 800-year-old mummy known as ‘the Crusader’ was severed and stolen.

The man (36) was arrested yesterday morning (March 14) and was brought before the evening sitting of Dublin District Court.

Brian Bridgeman, with an address in Dublin 1, was brought to appear before Judge Michael Walsh at Dublin District Court. Evidence of arrest, charge and caution was given by Garda Niall Cadden.

The man, who has not yet indicated how he will plead, “made no reply” when charged, the court heard.

The defendant is charged under Section 12 of the Theft and Fraud Offences Act that while trespassing at St Michan’s Church he committed theft at a time between February 23 and February 24 last.

Previously a man in his 20s had been arrested on March 7 but was subsequently released.

The burglary of the crypt in St Michan’s Church of Ireland church on Dublin’s Church Street was discovered at 1pm on Monday, February 25, when a tour guide was preparing to open the church for visitors.

A steel internal gate had been removed, and several mummies had been damaged. Among these were the 400-year-old remains of a nun and an 800-year-old ‘crusader’, whose head had been severed and stolen.

The head of the mummified nun had been turned 180 degrees to face the wrong direction while a third mummy had been turned on its side. The crypt of the family of Irish mathematician William Hamilton was also damaged.

Following the recovery of ‘the Crusader’s’ head on Tuesday last week An Garda said the National Museum of Ireland were acting with them in an “advisory capacity”.

“The items were recovered as a result of information that came into the possession of the investigating officers,” they said in a statement the following day. On the same day Archdeacon Pierpoint thanked officers and the public for their help in returning the remains.