The head of an 800-year-old mummy was stolen after a group of vandals broke into an iconic Irish church.
Gardai have launched an investigation after shocking theft which happened at St Michan’s Church in Dublin 7 over the weekend.
A crypt was vandalised during the incident which saw the head of a mummy known as ‘The Crusader’ taken, Dublin Live reports.
The remains of other mummies were also desecrated including that of a 400-year-old nun.
‘The Crusader’s’ body was turned over and had it’s head removed.
The Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson said: “I am shocked that someone would target this ancient burial place and desecrate the remains of those lying within it.
“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.
“I would appeal to those responsible to examine their consciences and return the head of The Crusader to its rightful place”
The Vicar of the Christchurch Cathedral Group of Parishes said: “The actions of these people are devastating and sacrilegious. We are upset at the amount of damage that has been caused.
“But also the crypt will have to close so tourists will not be able to visit. It is very frustrating.”
Gardai are investigating the incident.
A spokesperson said: “Gardaí are investigating a break in at St Michan’s Church on Church Street Dublin.
“The matter was reported to Gardaí this afternoon 25th February.
“The incident is believed to have occurred between 7pm on Saturday 23 and 8am on Sunday 24.
“Gardaí at appealing for anyone with information to contact them at Bridewell Garda Station on 01 666 8200”