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12th Jun 2024

Man charged after 800-year-old mummies destroyed in Dublin crypt fire

Simon Kelly

St Michans mummies fire

The man is due to appear in court on Wednesday.

A man has been charged following a fire breaking out in a crypt at St Michan’s Church of Ireland in Dublin, destroying five mummies.

Among the destroyed mummies was the 800-year-old remains of what is known as ‘The Crusader’, believed to have been a soldier in the Crusades.

The alarm was raised after a tour guide noticed smoke coming from the building on Church Street shortly after 4pm on Tuesday afternoon.

Dublin Fire Brigade extinguished the flames, saving the building, and no injuries were reported.

Man charged after 800-year-old mummies destroyed in Dublin crypt fire

Unfortunately, the water used in putting out the fire is believed to have destroyed the five mummies.

It is estimated there is around 30cm of water in the crypt.

A man was arrested for an alleged offence under the Criminal Damage Act and is due in court later this morning.

Archdeacon of Dublin and Vicar of St Michan’s Church David Pierpoint said the incident was “disastrous for Dublin, for history and for the parish”.

“The parish depends on income from our tourists and if we’ve no crypts to show people, then we have very little money coming in,” he said.

“We’re not sure now what’s going to happen.”

A full forensic examination is currently underway.

A spokesperson for An Garda Síochana said: “A man was later arrested in connection with the incident, for an alleged offence under the Criminal Damage Act 1991, and is currently detained pursuant to Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 at a garda station in the Dublin area.”

It is not the first time the remains have been impacted – back in February 2019, The Crusader was decapitated during a break-in at the crypt. 

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