The wife of a Polish father of two hacked to death during a frenzied machete attack in their home has told gardaí his killers spoke fluent English.
Elzbieta Wilk has been able to give investigating gardaí some crucial details about the savage assault in their home at Maglin, near Ballincollig, on the outskirts of Cork City early on Sunday, which killed her husband, Mikolaj, 35, and left her with serious injuries to her head, face, and hands.
Gardaí said work is ongoing to establish a motive for the shocking attack.
As an autopsy conducted by assistant state pathologist Margot Bolster at Cork University Hospital (CUH) yesterday confirmed that Mr Wilk died from multiple slash injuries, his wife underwent surgery in the same hospital which it is hoped will save three near- severed fingers.
Gardaí remained tightlipped last night on the progress of their investigation, but they confirmed that a firearm was recovered during a technical examination of a BMW 3 series car, which was found about an hour after the attack abandoned and burned out at Iniskenny, Ballinora, about 6km from the Wilk home.
The gun will be subjected to further detailed forensic tests, they said.
It is understood that Ms Wilk has told gardaí that at least four men, all wearing balaclavas, entered their home at around 3am on Sunday and viciously attacked her husband, slashing him with machetes several times about the head and upper body. She suffered several slash injuries to her face, neck, and hands as she tried to protect him.
Their two children, a boy and a girl aged under six, were in a back room and woke to hear the attack. They were unhurt and are being cared for by experts.
A Slovakian woman in her 30s who was renting a room in the house escaped through a rear window, before the alarm was raised and the gang fled.
Detectives have conducted door-to-door enquiries and have begun trawling through CCTV footage harvested from premises in the area. They repeated their appeal for anyone who saw anything unusual or suspicious in the Maglin, Ballincollig, Ballinora, or Waterfall areas between 2am and 5am on Sunday, or in the days before, to contact Gurranabraher garda station.
A friend of Ms Wilk, Aga Deryng, who was at Ms Wilk’s hospital bedside yesterday, said her physical condition has improved.
While members of Mr Wilk’s family are due to arrive in Ireland today, arrangements are being made for Ms Wilk’s relations to care for her two children.
More than €6,000 has been pledged to a GoFundMe account set up for the family.
This story first appeared in the Irish Examiner.