Appeal over saint heart theft

Mon, Mar 5, 2012, 00:00

Gardaí in Dublin 's Kevin Street have appealed for assistance from the public in finding the preserved heart of St Laurence O'Toole, stolen from St Laud's chapel at Christ Church Cathedral at the weekend.

They believe it was taken sometime between Friday evening and 12.30pm on Saturday.

The heart was kept in a wooden heart shaped container sealed within a small iron-barred box. St. Laurence O'Toole, the first Irish Archbishop of Dublin, was born at Castledermot, Co Kildare in 1128. He became Archbishop in 1162 and died at Eu in Normandy in 1180.

Gardaí wish to speak to anyone who may have visited St Laud's chapel in Christ Church Cathedral on Friday evening and/or Saturday morning. They can be contacted at 01- 6669400, the Garda Confidential line 1800 666 111 or at any Garda station.

The Dean of Christ Church Cathedral Rev Dermot Dunne has appealed for the return of the heart. Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland today he said "it has no economic value but it is a priceless treasure that links our present foundation with its founding father, St Laurence O'Toole."

He said the relic was "bolted to the wall in a metal cage. Almost impossible to wrench it off the wall. It took quite a lot of effort to extract it from that cage."

He also revealed that a number of candles at the Cathedral were found to be lit when the theft was discovered on Saturday morning.

"We have a peace candle, and we invite people to light candles during the day ... when staff were on their rounds, they found that it was lit already. And then in our Trinity chapel - our prayer chapel on the on the north transept - all the candles were lit there. It's quite confusing," he said.