Sixth person arrested after man hacked to death in Cork

Mikolaj Wilk killed by a machete-wielding gang in front of his wife and children

Elzbieta and Mikolaj Wilk. File Photograph: Provision

Elzbieta and Mikolaj Wilk. File Photograph: Provision

 

Gardaí investigating the murder of a 35-year-old man who was hacked to death by a machete-wielding gang in front of his wife and children in Co Cork have arrested a sixth person this morning.

Detectives arrested a 33-year-old Irish woman at a house in the Mayfield area of Cork’s northside at around 10am this morning and brought her to Gurranebraher Garda Station for questioning about the murder of Polish national, Mikolaj Wilk at his home at Maglin near Ballincollig on June 10th last.

The woman, who is being held under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act which allows gardaí detain suspects for up to seven days, is the third person to be arrested over Mr Wilk’s murder in the past three days.

On Wednesday, gardaí arrested a 35-year-old Irish man at an address in Mayfield. He remains in custody.

Later gardaí arrested a 29-year-old Latvian man in the Blackpool area of Cork’s northside at around 10am on Wednesday and brought him to Gurranebraher Garda Station but he was released without charge.

This week’s arrests bring to six in total the number of people arrested by gardaí investigating Mr Wilk’s murder and they follow the arrest on January 22nd last of two Poles and a Latvian, all in their 30s, at two separate locations in Ballincollig and a third location in Togher on the south side of Cork city.

All three arrested in January were arrested on suspicion of facilitating and supporting an organised crime gang whom gardaí suspect were behind Mr Wilk’s murder.

Last week at Cork City Coroner’s Court, Sgt Fergus Twomey applied for an adjournment of the inquest into Mr Wilk’s death, telling Cork City Coroner, Philip Comyn that the investigation remained “live, active and ongoing”.

Mr Wilk was seriously injured when he was attacked by a machete-wielding gang when they broke into the house he shared with his wife, Elzbeta and their two young children at Maglin and he was later rushed by ambulance to Cork University Hospital where he died soon after.

Mr Wilk’s inquest was first opened on November 1st last year when Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster said Mr Wilk had died from shock and haemorrhage due to multiple blows from sharp weapons in association with a traumatic brain injury.

Garda sources have confirmed to The Irish Times that gardaí have mounted an extensive investigation into the killing of Mr Wilk, taking over 300 witness statements and harvesting and viewing over 2,000 hours of CCTV footage at an incident room in Ballincollig Garda Station.

Late last June, gardaí carried out searches at six houses in Ballincollig, Ballinhassig, Grenagh and Blackpool as well as a car sales business where it is believed Mr Wilk’s killers bought a BMW which was found on fire in nearby Waterfall on the night of the killing.

Nine vehicles, including two vans which were seized at the seven premises, were sent by gardaí for technical examination and it is understood that the searches and seizures of vehicles also stemmed from an examination of Mr Wilk’s phone records and email records to see who he was in contact with.

Gardaí have remained tight-lipped about their investigation but privately several have expressed confidence that they will solve the killing which, experienced officers described as one of the most violent that they had ever seen in Cork.

However, officers have refused to be drawn on a motive for the killing but say that they have found no evidence to suggest that Mr Wilk was involved in any criminal activity though it is understood that their focus is on a criminal gang from Eastern Europe with local Irish support.