Second mass to be offered for murdered Polish father as gardaí renew appeal for information

By Olivia Kelleher

A special mass will be held for the Polish community in Cork tomorrow evening as gardaí continue to hunt for the men responsible for the murder of father of two, Mikolaj Wilk, who died in a machete attack at his home in Ballincollig on the outskirts of the city last weekend.

Mikolaj will be remembered at a mass in the Church of St Mary and St John tomorrow evening.

Members of the Polish community previously gathered at St Augustine’s Church earlier this week to pray for Mikolaj, his wife Elzbieta and their two young children following the murder at his bungalow in Maglin, Ballincollig at around 3am last Sunday.

At the mass in St Augustine’s on Wednesday Polish woman Kasia Kasperkiewcz, who has lived in Douglas, on the southside of Cork city for twelve years, said her heart went out to a family from her homeland who had lost a husband and father in such an inhumane way.

“We have deep compassion for the family. We will try to support them. We are in not in fear but we are shocked. We are praying for them. “

The Polish chaplain in, Cork Fr Pitor Galus, has visited Elzbieta at Cork University Hospital along with the Bishop of Cork, Dr John Buckley. Elzbieta required hand surgery after she suffered tendon damage. She also incurred facial and head injuries.

Fr Galus said: “Evil things speak louder and make us afraid but we can also see the good in the community, the help and the support.”

He stated that the community planned to do everything possible to support the family of the deceased in this time of anguish and sorrow.

Meanwhile, a not for Profit Polish organisation in Cork, Together Razem, has offered its help to the Wilk family.

In a statement on Facebook the centre staff said they were “shocked and saddened by the vicious machete attack on the Wilk family.”

Mikolaj Wilk was a hardworking Polish man and his life was taken so suddenly. Our thoughts and sympathies go to the family and friends of the man who has lost his life. We are able to offer free of charge counselling services in the Polish language to the Wilk family members at our centre.

They also urged the wider community in Cork to contact gardaí with information and to support the Go Fund Me page set up for the family.

Gardaí are renewing their appeal in relation to the murder of Mikolaj Wilk at The Bridge House, Maglin, Ballincollig on Sunday.

Superintendent Colm O Sullivan said they are continuing to appeal to anyone with information to contact them.

“A number of people have come forward with information and 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 who have not come forward.

"I would appeal to them to contact us at Gurranabraher Garda Station on 021- 4946200, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any garda station. Any information they may have, no matter how insignificant would assist our investigation."

A postmortem indicated that the deceased died of multiple injuries including stab wounds.

No specific details of the injuries have been made public.

Mr Wilk died at CUH at around 5.30am on Sunday. Mikolaj and his wife were set upon by a gang of up to four men who entered the family home after 3am on Sunday.

A second woman in her thirties, who was renting a room in the house, managed to escape through a window of the bungalow. Mr and Mrs Wilk's children were also present.

The children, who are aged four and five, were unharmed in the incident. The men entered the secluded bungalow in Ballincollig armed with weapons.

There is no clear motive for the murder. Mikolaj Wilk was not known to gardaí.

Friends have described Mikolaj as a kind father with a strong work ethic who ran his own gardening business.

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to assist the family with expenses. Both Irish and Polish people have donated to the fund which has reached in excess of €18,000.

Mikolaj and Elzbieta were due to celebrate their seventh wedding anniversary in late June.

Gardaí responded to the incident at 3.17am on Sunday and were on the scene in less than five minutes. The assailants had fled the area at this point in a car.

At 4am on Sunday Cork County Service Fire responded to the scene of a fire of a car in nearby Waterfall. A BMW Three Series car, which gardaí believe the men were driving, was burned out. The car has been forensically examined. House to house inquiries are ongoing as are CCTV checks in the area.

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