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Saturday 20 October 2018

Gang 'wanted children to witness machete attack' that killed dad

Mikołaj Wilk
Mikołaj Wilk

Ryan Nugent

The wife of machete murder victim Mikolaj Wilk is out of hospital and "recovering well" from her injuries.

It's understood Elzbieta Wilk - who sustained serious injuries after she and her husband were attacked at their home in Co Cork - was discharged from hospital on Saturday.

The gruesome attack on the family took place between 2am and 4am the previous Sunday as a gang of up to four men broke down the door of the family home on the rural outskirts of Ballincollig.

Mr Wilk - a Polish national - sustained multiple stab wounds to his head, hands and torso in the brutal attack.

His wife underwent an operation on her hand and arm last week, after losing movement in three of her fingers.

Polish chaplain for Cork Fr Piotr Galus, who met Ms Wilk in hospital last week, said she told of how the gang wanted the couple's young children to witness the murder.

"They wanted the children to witness what they were doing," Fr Galus said.

"She tried to protect them and hide from the gang, but she heard them say they wanted to bring the children in to witness the killing.

"She was beaten on her face and her head as she tried to protect them and she was struck with a weapon causing a very deep cut on her hand," he added.

When interviewed by gardaí last week while she was in hospital, Ms Wilk told investigators she had no idea of any motive for the attack.

She is said to be intent on moving her family back to Poland following the horrific ordeal.

A burnt-out BMW 3 Series was found around 6km from the family home after the attack in the early hours of June 10, with a handgun inside.

Yesterday, at 6am, gardaí conducted a search along the route near the area of Waterfall, Co Cork, in the hope of finding evidence that may have been discarded out of the window of the getaway vehicle.

However, the Irish Independent has been told nothing was found in this search.

Appeal

Gardaí also issued an appeal for a taxi driver who dropped off two women from a pub in the Wilton area to separate locations in Waterfall between 12am and 12.30am that night to come forward.

"A number of people have come forward with information and gardaí wish to thank the public for their assistance so far," a spokesman said.

"However, gardaí wish to continue to appeal to taxi and hackney drivers that were operating in the Maglin, Ballincollig, Ballinora and Waterfall areas on the night of the incident who have not come forward.

"In particular, they wish to speak to a driver who picked up three women at a pub in the Wilton area through a booking on a taxi app and drove to Waterfall, dropping two of the women along the way."

It's understood that the two women have provided information to gardaí.

Officers are probing if the burnt-out car was in the area at the time of the women being dropped off - which was around two hours before the attack took place.

Meanwhile, a memorial Mass in the family's hometown of Ballincollig took place on Saturday night.

Mr Wilk's body was also released to his family over the weekend, following an extensive forensic examination as part of the murder investigation.

His body is expected to be repatriated to his native Poland, where his funeral will take place.

Ms Wilk's father and her husband's sister arrived in Cork last Monday night and are understood to have been taking care of the couple's two children - both aged under six - since the attack.

Some €20,000 has been raised so far after a close friend of the couple, Aga Deryng, set up a GoFundMe account to help support Ms Wilk and her children.

Irish Independent

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