THE Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, the Very Revd Dermot Dunne, has spoken of his “devastation”, after the theft on Saturday of the heart of the city’s patron saint, St Laurence O’Toole.
He said that the relic, which was contained in a wooden heart-shaped box inside a cage, was a centre of pilgrimage and a tourist attraction; he could not understand why thieves had taken it. It has been held at what is now the Anglican diocesan cathedral since the 13th century.
No alarms were activated, and there was no evidence of a break-in; so it is assumed that the theft took place during opening hours on Saturday. It was discovered by staff at 12.30 p.m. “It has no economic value, but it is a priceless treasure that links our present foundation with its founding father,” Dean Dunne said.
The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson, appealed for its return, saying that the theft “has caused shock and distress, not only in Dublin but worldwide. . . What we really long to see is the return of the relic, discreetly, so that it may again take its time-honoured place in the cathedral for everyone to see and use in the context of their own tradition and spirituality.”
Gardai were this week examining CCTV footage in their investigation.