Gardaí were called to St. Peter’s Church last night after a tiny body was discovered under the head of Saint Oliver Plunkett. The discovery was made by a church cleaner during a routine wiping of the display cabinet storing the holy head.
The body, only 12cm from neck to toe, was reportedly still attached to the head when cleaner Rose Reynoulds disturbed it.
“I was wiping the inside glass and I dropped me cloth in there behind the head. So I lifted Oliver out and lone behold a wee body started dangling out underneath, like a dead puppet.”
Closer inspection of the body revealed extremely developed thighs capable of bearing the weight of a fully grown human skull. Interestingly, the body was handcuffed, suggesting its owner was likely executed, just like Plunkett. The corpse was clothed in the traditional striped gaol rags.
Town churchgoers have long venerated the supposed relic as that of executed bishop Oliver Plunkett, who was hung drawn and quartered at Tyburn in 1681.
Clergy have not discounted that the relic might indeed be Plunkett. Historians have been studying contemporary accounts in the hope of finding out whether or not Plunkett’s diminutive stature was indeed covered up by the church. It was only in 1966 that dwarves were finally declassified as demons and there are still no dwarf priests in Ireland.
One cleric suggested that Plunkett may even have been carried around by a Hodor type figure disguised under a cloak, keeping his true stature hidden. That hypothesis would at least explain the large hip bones also on display at the shrine.
On a local level, the whole affair has shattered belief in Christianity. Unsurprisingly, the fall out has been tough on the church.
Speaking to media on the steps of St. Peter’s after an ill-attended early mass, Father Steve Davis laughed off rumours that the whole idea of Christianity was a cunning ruse invented by the Romans to subjugate an increasingly hostile region of the empire by making locals invest in a belief system based on love, peace and non-violence.
“That’s simply not true,” he said.
Gardaí have cordoned off the area for forensic analysis. State pathologist Marie Cassidy has indicated that the body was simply squeezed to death.