GAR­DAÍ RE­NEW AP­PEALS AFTER HOR­RIFIC MA­CHETE MUR­DER

The Corkman - - FRONT PAGE - BILL BROWNE

GAR­DAÍ have re­newed their ap­peal for in­for­ma­tion about the bru­tal mur­der of a Pol­ish man who was sav­agely at­tacked by a gang who burst into his Ballincol­lig home.

Miko­laj Wilk (35) was at­tacked by a gang of up to four men in his rented home at the Bridge House, Maglin, Ballincol­lig at around 3.20am on Sun­day morn­ing. Mr Wilk, who was also known as Nick, was taken to Cork Univer­sity Hospi­tal (CUH), but died at around 5.30am from the hor­rific in­juries he sus­tained dur­ing the at­tack.

Mr Wilk’s wife, Elz­bi­eta, sus­tained se­ri­ous in­juries to her arms, hand and fingers dur­ing the at­tack and is re­cov­er­ing in hospi­tal after un­der­go­ing surgery. It is un­der­stood that the cou­ple’s chil­dren, aged four and five, wit­nessed the at­tack but were un­harmed. Rel­a­tives of Mrs Wilk have flown to Ire­land to take care of the chil­dren.

A sec­ond wo­man, who it is be­lieved was rent­ing a room in the house, es­caped un­in­jured though a win­dow of the bun­ga­low and ran to a neigh­bour’s house for help.

Of­fi­cers, who ar­rived on the scene within min­utes, found the cou­ple in the blood-soaked hall­way of the house and ad­min­is­tered first aid un­til paramedics ar­rived.

While spe­cific de­tails of a post mortem ex­am­i­na­tion on Mon­day have not been re­leased for op­er­a­tional rea­sons it is un­der­stood they in­di­cated he died from mul­ti­ple in­juries, in­clud­ing stab wounds.

Shortly after the at­tack Gar­daí found a BMW car be­lieved to have been used by the at­tack­ers at Balli­nora, In­niskenny, Wa­ter­fall, ap­prox­i­mately 6km from the Wilk’s home. A firearm was re­cov­ered from the sus­pected get­away ve­hi­cle and has been sent for fur­ther foren­sic ex­am­i­na­tion.

Mr Wilk, who ran a suc­cess­ful gar­den­ing busi­ness in Ballincol­lig, was not known to Gar­daí, who have yet to es­tab­lish a mo­tive for the at­tack. One pos­si­ble line of in­ves­ti­ga­tion is that the at­tack may have in­volved a per­sonal grudge, given that no items were stolen from the Wilk’s home. It is also un­der­stood that the at­tack­ers may have had Cork ac­cents.

They have con­ducted door-to-door en­quiries in the Ballincol­lig area and are re­view­ing CCTV footage shot in the area be­tween the Wilk’s home and where the BMW was aban­doned. Of­fi­cers have spo­ken to mem­bers of the Pol­ish com­mu­nity to find out if Mr Wilk may have been in­volved in a dis­pute over re­cent weeks or felt that his safety may be un­der threat.

Gar­daí also in­tend to con­tact po­lice in Poland to see if there may be a link to his home coun­try that could ex­plain why Mr Wilk’s was at­tacked.

Aga Deryng, a close friend of the Wilk’s fam­ily who was at Mrs Wilk’s bed­side at the CUH told the ‘Cork To­day’ show on C103 that the Pol­ish com­mu­nity was ter­ri­fied fol­low­ing the at­tack. “They (the Wilks) are a won­der­ful fam­ily. Miko­laj was a gen­er­ous, great, great help­ful man with a warm heart,” said Ms Deryng.

She said that Mrs Wilk, who has in­di­cated she in­tends to move back to Poland with her chil­dren when she re­cov­ers from her in­juries, was heart­bro­ken. “You can’t de­scribe it. But at least all of us can be here and sup­port her as much as we can. We’re try­ing to stay with her all the times and not to let her be alone with her own thoughts, be­cause you don’t want to know what is go­ing through her head,” said Ms Deryng.

“The fam­ily had been liv­ing in Ire­land for around 12 years. This was their home, but I don’t think it is go­ing to be any­more. We’re all ter­ri­fied now.”

Pol­ish chap­lain in Cork, Fr Piotr Galus said the Pol­ish com­mu­nity was shocked by the sav­age at­tack. “Every­one is ask­ing if they are safe,” he said.

He will cel­e­brate a spe­cial mass for the Wilk fam­ily in Ballincol­lig on Satur­day.

Reis­su­ing an ap­peal to any­one who may have in­for­ma­tion or have wit­nessed the in­ci­dent Garda Su­per­in­ten­dent Colm O’Sul­li­van said that fol­low­ing ear­lier ap­peals a num­ber of peo­ple have come for­ward with in­for­ma­tion.

Dash­cam footage shot around the time of the at­tack and its af­ter­math may hold vi­tal clues as to the iden­tity of the at­tack­ers.

“We wish to thank the public for their as­sis­tance in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion thus far. How­ever, we are aware of a num­ber of taxis and hack­neys that were op­er­at­ing in the Maglin, Ballincol­lig, Balli­nora and Wa­ter­fall ar­eas on the night of the in­ci­dent and have not come for­ward,” said Supt O’Sul­li­van. “I would ap­peal to them to con­tact us at Gur­ranabra­her Garda sta­tion on 021 494 6200, the Garda Con­fi­den­tial Line on 1800 666 11 or any Garda sta­tion. Any in­for­ma­tion they have, no mat­ter how in­signif­i­cant, would as­sist our in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

The late Miko­laj and in­jured Elz­bi­eta Wilk with their two young chil­dren, who wit­nessed the bru­tal at­tack.

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