By Ann Murphy
Up to 15 gardaí have been given counselling to help them deal with the trauma of working on the brutal murder of Polish man Mikolaj Wilk in Ballincollig.
The gardener was butchered to death when he was attacked by a gang of machete-wielding men in his home at Maglin, Ballincollig, on June 10.
He died at Cork University Hospital a short time after the attack. His wife also received serious injuries to her hand but has since returned home to Poland with the couple’s young children.
The scene has been described by gardaí as something like a horror movie and the worst that many experienced officers had ever witnessed.
A spokesman for the Garda Representative Association (GRA) in Cork, Padraig Harrington, said that gardaí working on the case were traumatised by the scene. Counselling has been made available to the affected officers to help them deal with the trauma of what they saw inside Mr Wilk’s home.
The GRA local branch has also had a meeting with the Assistant Commissioner, Anne Marie McMahon, to discuss putting in place a protocol to provide automatic psychological services for officers attending such horrendous scenes.
While the association acknowledges that psychological services are in place, Garda Harrington said there is no set protocol for ensuring immediate attention for affected personnel.
The suspects in the attacks are also believed to have fled the country within 24 hours of the machete attack.
Investigators have enlisted the aid of Interpol in their attempt to trace the killers.
Nine vehicles seized by gardaí shortly after the killing are still in the possession of the authorities after being seized in a swoop on the Ballincollig area.
A large team is going through forensics, documents, and witness statements taken in the early stages of the investigation.
Gardaí have been liaising with authorities in Poland to try to establish if there is anything in Mr Wilk’s background that would have offered a possible motive for such a vicious killing.
CCTV footage was analysed to piece together all suspicious movements in the wider Ballincollig area in the days leading up to the attack. Anyone with information on the murder is asked to contact Gurranabraher Garda station on 021 4946200.