Priceless Relic Stolen from Christ Church

7 March 2012

Heart of St Laurence O'Toole Stolen from the Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral has been left in a state of shock following the weekend when the priceless relic and one of the Cathedral's most treasured artifacts, the heart of Dublin's patron saint, Laurence O'Toole, was stolen from the cathedral.

Detectives at Kevin Street Garda Station are currently following leads from CCTV camera footage from the Cathedral in a bid to identify those behind the theft. We can now confirm that the theft took place between the hours of 9.30am and 11am on Saturday morning and the relic was last seen at 10.30am. Detectives are appealing for witnesses who visited the Cathedral between those hours to come forward. They also ask that anyone who took photographs during those hours to please hand them in at Kevin Street Garda Station or at Christ Church Cathedral as they may contain further evidence. It is believed that the thieves entered through the main doors shortly after 9.30am and left via the same doors a little over an hour later.

The Dean and all at Christ Church Cathedral would like to thank the detectives and gardai at Kevin Street Garda Station for their tireless work on this case. They would also like to thank, most sincerely, the Irish and International Media, the people of Ireland and the wider Christian community for their generous support and kind wishes in what has been one of the most difficult periods in the history of Christ Church Cathedral.

This priceless and treasured relic, with eight centuries of visitation to its credit and with links to a Christian tradition of reliquaries going back to the earliest days of the Church, was one of the most popular tourist attractions in Dublin. Since its theft last Saturday, thousands of people from home and abroad have poured in through the doors of the Cathedral to see the empty cage which once contained the heart of Dublin’s patron saint. 

The Dean of Christ Church Cathedral and the diocese of Dublin and Glendalough, the Very Reverend Dermot Dunne, stated “All I ask is that whoever took it would return it with no questions asked. It's valueless to anyone but the Cathedral and our community and the community of Dublin. We are grieving over this and are still horrified that someone should deprive us of such a special link to our past and to our Christian founder.

He also added “I am very confident that the police will recover the relic just as they did the relics of the True Cross, which were stolen from Holy Cross Abbey in Co. Tipperary last year”.

Detectives are appealing for witnesses to contact Kevin Street Garda Station on 01 666 9400 or call the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.

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