“EVIL things speak louder and make us afraid, but we can also see the good in the community, the help and the support.”
Those were the words of the Polish chaplain in Cork who has appealed to the Polish community to seek justice, but not revenge, for the gruesome machete murder of Mikolaj Wilk in Ballincollig.
Members of the Polish Community gathered together at St Augustine’s Church on Washington Street last night to hear a mass said by the Polish chaplain, Fr Piotr Galus.
In his sermon, Fr Galus called on the Polish Community to begin the healing process, to focus on the good that has been shown by people through their support and kindness and to not seek retaliation.
Fr Galus said: “Of course we have a right to seek justice, but not retaliation.”
A friend of Mikolaj, who attended the mass said he had known Mikolaj for 12 years: “I still can’t believe what happened. Thoughts of the murder are with me twenty-four-seven.
“The biggest thing for me is that it is not a tragedy. Mikolaj did not die in a car crash. It was murder and it is hard to believe that someone could do something like that.
“No matter what the reason, what could anyone do to deserve that treatment?”
Malgorzata Ostapiuk also attended the mass in solidarity with the family and friends of Mikolaj.
“I didn’t know him personally, but I am devastated that such a gruesome crime was committed. The idea that someone has been killed in such a way, with his children there, is very shocking.”
Izabella Prochal, another member of the Polish community to attend the service in solidarity with the Wilk family, said it was an awful tragedy for the family and the Polish Community.
Izabella said there was some fear within their community and said she hopes the gardaí find the people who did this.
While some members of the Polish community spoke of their shock and disbelief of the murder, the family and friends of Mikolaj asked for privacy to grieve the loss of the father of two.
Fr Galus told the Evening Echo he visited Mikolaj Wilk’s wife, Elzbieta, also injured in the attack, in hospital recently and she was doing well.
“She is very strong and she has strong support. The operation went well and I hope soon she will have a full recovery.”
Speaking about the family’s request for privacy, Fr Galus said: “The family said they don’t want to be bothered because they are a little bit afraid to be seen publicly for fear of retaliation and also to be able to grieve and heal properly.
“They want to keep Elzbieta as long as possible in hospital so she can recover without the memories of what happened.”
Another close friend of the family said if people want to help in some way, they can contribute to the GoFundMe page that has been set up to raise funds for the Wilk family.
- Donations can be made to the GoFundMe page at: gofundme.com/help-for-mikolaj-wilk-family/