Polish chaplain in Cork condemns ‘savage’ crime

‘For the father of a family to be murdered in his home ... anyone could be a victim of this’

Gardaí at the scene off Maglin road, Ballincollig, Co Cork, where a man died and his partner was injured following an attack by several assailants armed with weapons. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Gardaí at the scene off Maglin road, Ballincollig, Co Cork, where a man died and his partner was injured following an attack by several assailants armed with weapons. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

 

The Polish chaplain in Cork has said that the late Mikolaj Wilk, his wife Elzbieta and their two young children will feature in the thoughts and prayers of the community after the father of two was murdered when a gang of up to four men burst into his home on the outskirts of Ballincollig, Co Cork, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Fr Piotr Galus said the death of the Polish gardener was a “savage” crime.

“We will pray for the family. We will offer any support we can to the family. For the father of a family to be murdered in his home, this is a crime with no nationalities; anyone could be a victim of this.”

Gardaí have said that there is no known motive for the stabbing to death of Mr Wilk (35) and the injuring of his wife Elzbieta who is also in her thirties. The men entered the house armed with weapons including machetes. The husband and wife lived in a bungalow at Bridge House, Maglin Bridge, Ballincollig, Co Cork, with their two children who are under the age of six.

Mikolaj, whom friends called “Nik”, was known locally for running a gardening business and had lived in Ireland for at least five years.

Supt Colm O’Sullivan said gardaí responded to the incident at 3.17am on Sunday morning and were on the scene in less than five minutes. The assailants had fled the area at this point in a car.

Mr Wilk was taken to Cork University Hospital (CUH) where he died shortly after 5am. Elzbieta is being treated in CUH for non life threatening injuries. A second women in her thirties and the couple’s children, all of whom were in the house, were not harmed in the incident.

A BMW 3 series car which gardaí believe the men were driving was discovered burned out. House-to-house inquiries are ongoing as are CCTV checks in the area. Supt O’Sullivan said it was tragic to see a man leave a wife, family and friends behind in such circumstances.

Supt O’Sullivan said it was a busy road and junction and that someone must have witnessed unusual activity. “They must have witnessed something . . . we are appealing to the public. We believe there might be up to four people involved.”

Anyone with information can contact gardaí at Gurranabraher on 021-4946200, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666111 or any Garda station.