Members of the Polish community gathered in solidarity yesterday at a special Mass in memory of father of two Mikolaj Wilk, who was murdered in a machete attack in Ballincollig, Co Cork, at the weekend.
One woman entered St Augustine’s Church in Cork city centre at 7pm yesterday holding a bunch of white flowers. Individuals spoke of their profound sorrow and shock at the death of a native of their home country in such unimaginable circumstances.
Kasia Kasperkiewcz, who has lived in Douglas, on the southside of Cork City, for 12 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. “
Izabella Prochal, who has been based in Ireland for over a decade, said there is nervousness in the community following the death of Mikolaj (Nick) Wilk at the age of 35.
She said: “I am very unhappy because it is a tragedy for the family and for our community. I hope there is still safety in Cork. I hope the Garda will find the person.”
Another Polish woman, who declined to be named, said she knew the wife of the deceased, Elzbieta, casually and that the family “were like everyone we know”.
The chief celebrant at the Mass and chaplain to the local Polish community, Fr Piotr Galus, said they normally gather for Christmas, Easter, and special occasions.
Instead they were showing support for a family in “suffering”.
“We pray for the soul of Mikolaj. We also pray for his wife, his children, his family, and his friends.”
He said parishioners would do everything possible to support the family of Mr Wilk in this time of anguish and sorrow.
Meanwhile, gardaí are renewing their appeal in relation to the murder of Mr Wilk at the Bridge House, Maglin, Ballincollig, on Sunday.
Superintendent Colm O’Sullivan said they are appealing 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 666111, or any Garda station. Any information they may have, no matter how insignificant would assist our investigation.’
A postmortem indicated Mr Wilk died of injuries including stab wounds. No specific details of the injuries have been made public.
Mr Wilk died at Cork University Hospital at around 5.30am on Sunday. His wife, Elzbieta, incurred facial injuries and is currently without the use of three of her fingers after she and her husband 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 30s, 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, but were unharmed.
The men entered the secluded bungalow in Ballincollig armed with weapons. There is no clear motive for the murder.
Mrs Wilk underwent surgery on her hands on Monday.
Friends have described Mr Wilk as a kind father with a strong work ethic who ran his own gardening business.
Mikolaj and Elzbieta Wilk were due to celebrate their seventh wedding anniversary later this month.
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