Vandalism of historic crypt ‘attacks Christian communities’

Vandalism of historic crypt ‘attacks Christian communities’ St Michan's Church after the vandalism

The ransacking of a historic Church of Ireland church crypt is a “desecration” and an “attack on Christian communities”, a prominent inner-city priest has said.

The raid on the crypt of St Michan’s 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.

Speaking to The Irish Catholic, Fr Bryan Shortall, parish priest of St Michan’s Church on nearby Halston Street, said the attack had shocked locals.

“It’s a real shame, a real shock, and an attack on Christian communities,” he said. “Are we now fearful of the remains of our loved ones? Why do people want to desecrate places where we bury our dead?”

The Capuchin friar said he had been in contact with Archdeacon David Pierrepoint and Rev. Ross Styles at the Church of Ireland church, which had been part of the Dublin Camino in last year’s World Meeting of Families.

“Our ecumenism isn’t just for one week in January – we try to make prayerful links with them all year round,” Fr Shortall said, predicting that his Church of Ireland neighbours would get over the attack. “They’ll rise above this,” he said.