Gardaí appeal to taxi drivers in murder probe

Gardaí investigating the machete murder of a Polish man in his home in Cork last weekend have appealed to taxi or hackney drivers who were working in the area at the time to come forward.

The renewed appeal came yesterday as gardaí continued trying to establish a motive for the savage attack on 35-year-old father of two, Mikolaj Wilk, by a gang of at least four masked men, armed with machetes, who entered his home near Ballincollig and hacked him to death.

They also injured his wife, Elzbieta, as their two children, both aged under six, hid in a bedroom. 

They heard the attack but were not physically injured. They are now being cared for by members of Elzbieta’s extended family.

She suffered slash wounds to her face, neck and hands as she tried to protect her husband during the attack, and is recovering from surgery which it is hoped will save three of her most badly injured fingers.

Another woman who was renting a room in the house fled through a rear window and ran to a house next door.

While gardaí have not released specific details of the gang’s suspected getaway car, a BMW 3 series found burned out about 6km away, it was reported yesterday that they have established that it was sold locally after they traced its last registered owner to an address in Ballincollig.

This key piece of information, combined with information from Mr Wilk’s wife that the men who attacked her and her husband spoke fluent English, is leading detectives to consider a possible local link in the attack.

Nothing was taken from the property during the attack leading detectives to believe the motive was not robbery.

It was also reported yesterday that the car was captured on some CCTV footage which has been harvested from the area.

It was confirmed on Monday that Mr Wilk died from multiple slash injuries to his head, torso, arms, hands and legs.

Despite the fact that Mr Wilk suffered such extensive and severe injuries, he survived for almost two hours.

But the level of violence used, the ferocity of the attack and the amount and horrendous nature of the injuries he suffered has shocked experienced gardaí and the medics who treated him.

The murder scene still remained sealed off yesterday, three days after the attack, as forensic experts continued their examination of the house, and several adjoining outbuildings and sheds.

Mr Wilk’s body has been released to his family, many of whom have arrived from Poland, and it is understood that arrangements are being made to repatriate the remains for burial in his native country.

Two vehicles, a jeep and a van, which were removed from the family’s home, are still being technically examined for any forensic evidence, including possible traces of blood.

The results of forensic tests are also awaited on a gun and machetes which were recovered from the burned out car.

Superintendent Colm O’Sullivan, who is leading the investigation, said a number of people have come forward with information in recent days.

“We wish to thank the public for their assistance in the investigation thus far,” he said.

“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.”

More than €15,000 has now been raised for the Wilk family through a GoFundMe account set up on Monday.

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