Gardaí free two men held for questioning about Cork murder

Third man still being detained over fatal attack on Polish gardener Mikolaj Wilk

 Elzbieta and Mikolaj Wilk. File Photograph: Provision

Elzbieta and Mikolaj Wilk. File Photograph: Provision


Gardaí have released two of the three men arrested on Tuesday over the murder of a man by a machete-wielding gang in Cork last year.

Detectives released without charge a Polish man and a Latvian man who were being questioned at the Bridewell Garda station about the murder of father-of-two Mikolaj Wilk (35) at his home near Ballincollig last June.

A spokesman said gardaí will prepare a file for the DPP on the men’s alleged involvement in the murder of Mr Wilk, a Polish national, with the focus understood to be on their role in procuring a getaway car and other logistical support for the gang suspected of carrying out the killing.

Detectives are due to resume the questioning on Wednesday of a third suspect, another Polish man who was arrested on Tuesday. He is being detained at Gurranebraher Garda station under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act which allows suspects to be held for up to seven days.

Detectives arrested the three men at two separate locations in Ballincollig and at a third location near Togher on the south side of Cork city on Tuesday morning in what were the first arrests in the investigation into Mr Wilk’s murder.

The arrests follow a search of a commercial garage premises in the centre of Ballincollig by gardaí.

Mr Wilk, a gardener and handyman who had been living in Ireland for nine years, was fatally injured when he was attacked by a gang who broke into the house he shared with his wife, Elzbieta and their two children at Maglin near Ballincollig on June 10th.

Multiple blows

Last November at Cork City Coroner’s Court, Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster said that her postmortem found that Mr Wilk had died from shock and haemorrhage due to multiple blows from sharp weapons in association with a traumatic brain injury.

Gardaí have 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.

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. It is understood that their focus is on a foreign criminal gang from Eastern Europe with local Irish support.

Late last June, gardaí carried out searches at six houses in Ballincollig, Ballinhassig, Grenagh and Blackpool as well as 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 seized for technical examination . It is understood that the searches and seizures of vehicles stemmed from an examination of Mr Wilk’s phone records and email records to see with whom he had been in contact.

One Garda source said there has been a significant number of door-to-door inquiries and CCTV searches carried out while a large number of people have been interviewed as witnesses while gardaí have also had considerable engagement with foreign police forces in relation to the killing.

Mr Wilk’s widow, Elzbieta returned to Poland with the couple’s two children later in June, settling down at her home village some 60kms from Poznan. She did not return for the opening of his inquest at Cork City Coroner’s Court.