Inquest of man killed in machete murder adjourned as Garda investigation continues

Micholaj Wilk was killed when a gang broke into his family home in Cork last June

The gang broke into the house Micholaj Wilk shared with his wife, Elzbeta and their two young children at Maglin near Ballincollig. Photograph: Provision

The gang broke into the house Micholaj Wilk shared with his wife, Elzbeta and their two young children at Maglin near Ballincollig. Photograph: Provision

 

The Garda investigation into the murder of a 35-year-old father-of-two in Co Cork remains active and ongoing, an inquest into the man’s death was told today.

Micholaj Wilk, a Polish national, who had been living in Ireland for nine years, was fatally injured when he was attacked by a machete wielding gang. The gang broke into the house he shared with his wife, Elzbeta and their two young children at Maglin near Ballincollig on June 10th last.

Mr Wilk was rushed by ambulance to Cork University Hospital after suffering a number of serious slash and hacking wounds to his arms and legs but he died there soon after and gardaí began a murder inquiry.

On Thursday, at Cork City Coroner’s Court, Sgt Fergus Twomey applied to have the inquest adjourned. He said Mr Wilk’s death is the subject of “a live, active and ongoing Garda investigation”.

Cork City Coroner, Philip Comyn agreed to the application and listed the case for mention again on October 3rd.

Thursday was the second time Mr Wilk’s inquest was adjourned. When it was first opened on November 1st last year, 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.

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

Officers say they have found no evidence to suggest Mr Wilk was involved in any criminal activity, though it’s understood that their focus is on a foreign criminal gang from Eastern Europe with local Irish support.

Extensive investigation

Garda sources said an extensive investigation into the killing has been mounted, with gardaí taking over 300 witness statements and harvesting and viewing over 2,000 hours of CCTV footage at an incident room in Ballincollig Garda Station.

Earlier this year, on January 22nd, detectives arrested 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 and brought them to Gurranebraher and the Bridewell Garda Stations for questioning.

All three were arrested on suspicion of facilitating and support an organized crime gang whom gardaí suspect were behind Mr Wilk’s murder. They were detained under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act before later being released without charge.

It’s understood that gardaí believe the three men were involved in procuring cars and providing logistical support to the Eastern European gang. Gardaí believe the gang fled the country shortly after carrying out the attack on Mr Wilk.

Late last June, gardaí carried out searches at six houses in Ballincollig, Ballinhassig, Grenagh and Blackpool. They also searched a car sales business where it is believed Mr Wilk’s killers bought a BMW, 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. It is understood that the searches and seizures of vehicles also stemmed from an examination of Mr Wilk’s phone records and email records.

The investigation has involved a number of specialist Garda units including ballistics and fingerprint experts as well as scene of crime examiners. Gardaí have also been liaising with police forces in Eastern Europe through Europol and Interpol to try and trace possible suspects in the murder.