Ballincollig murder reaction: "We'll be getting the locks fixed."

Ballincollig murder reaction: "We'll be getting the locks fixed."
Couple Mikołaj and Elzbieta Wilk, Polish nationals living in Ballincollig.

GARDAÍ investigating the murder of Mikolaj Wilk in Ballincollig are still trying to establish a reason for the exceptionally violent attack on the 35-year-old and his wife.

We spoke to people in Ballincollig asking for their reaction to the shocking murder.

John Desmond. 
John Desmond. 

Michelle Hayes 
Michelle Hayes 

"It is on everyone’s mind at the moment because it is generally so quiet around Ballincollig. 

"A lot of things might happen in bigger towns or in Cork City but not here. It has really shaken people, you can see it in how quiet the town is. Everyone knows everyone in Ballincollig, even if only in passing, so it is a terrible shock."

Ida Manley 
Ida Manley 


"I know we hear about deaths and killing so often we should be used to it now, but it is still a shock. It seems like every place is changing when you hear of things like this. I wouldn’t be answering the door late at night. Even when I go out my back to hang out clothes I lock the door, you have to be very aware."

Brigita Witkauskait 
Brigita Witkauskait 


"It is just terrible what happened to that family. 

"I was really surprised because I think Ballincollig seems safe.  I was not expecting anything like this to happen. It has made me more nervous and thinking about safety because before now. I didn’t hear of anything like this happening."

Linda Hayes 
Linda Hayes 


"It has been a major shock because Ballincollig is so quiet, it really is. Nothing major ever happens here. 

"I didn’t know the family although I would know a lot of the Polish people living here, they have really integrated into the community, very warm and friendly people. 

"It is very worrying, we’ll be getting locks fixed. My porch door was closed last night, where I would normally leave it open. We are very security conscious now even though generally Ballincollig is very quiet."

Search for a motive

Mr Wilk died in the early hours of Sunday morning after a group of up to four men armed with machetes broke into his home in the Maglin area on the outskirts of Ballincollig.

A burned out car which is suspected to have been used as a getaway vehicle in the fatal attack of a man at Maglin road, Ballincollig. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
A burned out car which is suspected to have been used as a getaway vehicle in the fatal attack of a man at Maglin road, Ballincollig. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Mr Wilk suffered horrific injuries in the attack, which has been described locally as one of the most violent murders ever seen in Cork.

His wife Elzbieta also sustained serious injuries and their two children and another woman were in the house during the attack. Although uninjured, all three are said to be deeply shocked by the events.

Inspector Gary McPolin said gardaí were working to establish why Mr Wilk, a Polish national who had lived in Ireland for over 10 years and was known locally as a quiet man and a hard worker, was attacked in such a manner.

“That is part of our investigation, to find out the reason why this happened,” Mr McPolin said.

“The ferocity and the intensity and breaking into a house when there are young kids there, we are trying to ascertain why.”

Gardaí seal off the crime scene where a man lost his life near Ballincollig, Co. Cork. Picture: John Delea.
Gardaí seal off the crime scene where a man lost his life near Ballincollig, Co. Cork. Picture: John Delea.

A car was found burnt out several kilometres away in Waterfall and gardaí confirmed yesterday that a firearm was found in the car, a BMW.

They are appealing for anyone who noticed anything unusual in the days leading up to the vicious attack to contact them.

“We are still appealing to members of the public, anyone with dashcam footage, anyone who had been in the vicinity who might have noticed unusual activity in the day or two days leading up to the crime,” Mr McPolin said.

“It is a country area, only travelled by local people and we would ask them to contact us and come forward about any unusual activity and any males or vehicles that would not normally be there.

“Even if they think it is totally irrelevant, don’t be afraid to ring us.

“We appeal to any member of the Polish community and the community generally who have information, to come forward.”

Elzbieta Wilk underwent surgery yesterday to repair damage to her hand and also suffered injuries to her head and face. “She is comfortable in the hospital and recovering at the moment,” Mr McPolin said. A family friend Aga Deryng said: “Her injuries will heal but her heart will be broken forever.

Superintendent Colm O'Sullivan & Insp Gary McPolin, Gurranabraher Garda Station Cork, briefs press at the crime scene, Bridge House, Maglin, near Ballincollig. Picture: John Delea.
Superintendent Colm O'Sullivan & Insp Gary McPolin, Gurranabraher Garda Station Cork, briefs press at the crime scene, Bridge House, Maglin, near Ballincollig. Picture: John Delea.

“All of us can be with her here and support her as much as we can and be with her at all times and not to let her be on her own with her own thoughts.

“They have their business here, they have their children going to an Irish school. They are a wonderful family, Mikel was a generous, great, great helpful man with a very warm heart, so I can’t imagine why they have attacked just them.”

She has set up a gofundme page in support of the family, and by today, 325 people had donated more than €10,000.

The couple’s two children are being cared for by family.

Anyone with information can contact Gurranabraher Garda Station on 021-4946200 or any Garda station.

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