Children lose their 'Irish Willy Wonka'

Article featured in The Irish Independent - Wednesday May 19th 2010 - by Colin Whelan

CHILDREN didn't know his name but his creations are at the heart of their childhood, writes Colin Whelan.

The Macaroon bar, the Big Time bar, and the Chocolate Snowball were all born in the imagination of Ireland's answer to Willy Wonka.

Earlier this week Thomas Caffrey died, aged 92, but his family said his legacy would live on forever.

He began making confectionery in Dublin in the 1930's when he founded Caffrey's confectionery, and continued until he was in his 70s, employing thousands of people in Ireland.

The big break for Caffrey Confectionery came in the 1950s when it got a contract with Woolworths in the UK and supplied the confectionery for the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Today the confectionery is a global seller, available in the US, Australia, Canada and Spain.

Mr Caffrey was described as a "special and extraordinary man" by his daughter Elizabeth.

His funeral takes place after 11am Mass in Terenure College, Dublin, tomorrow with the burial afterwards at Palmerstown Cemetery.