THE COMMUNITIES of Arney and Enniskillen are mourning the passing of Tom McCaffrey, a well-known family and businessman.
Tom was married to his beloved Sheila (née Cassidy RIP), and together they had four daughters, Carol, Lisa (RIP), Julianne and Louise.
As Covid restrictions continue to affect how mourners can pay their respects, Tom’s many Arney neighbours and friends took to social media to offer their condolences, as of course, so many people will have happy memories of Tom serving behind the bar of the Tippler’s Inn in his townland.
Mr McCaffrey’s funeral mass was led by family friend and neighbour Fr Brian D’Arcy, who described Tom as a “calm and compassionate man, with a quick business head who worked hard.”
Reflecting on his working and business life, the priest said: “Tom had the great capacity to see what was needed to be done – he had a vision – which was a gift in itself.
“He would see something different and that’s what made him so successful and what’s more, you could be sure it would get done.
“The biggest thing to note about Tom’s work was that nobody did it for him, he did it for himself.
“He found the time, he always had a busy life,” Fr D’Arcy said.
Mourners were reminded how after studying agriculture in Greenmount College and working in agriculture for a time, Tom took over the Tippler’s back “in the centre of the universe, Arney” before taking on the Brook pub in Enniskillen followed by the Millcroft, Graan and Milvern nursing homes and then, the Village Inn also in Enniskillen.
Referring to the readings chosen for Mr McCaffrey’s funeral mass, the priest said “there’s a time for everything – a time for war, a time for peace; a time for mourning and a time for dancing. Tom had all that in his life,” Fr D’Arcy said adding that Tom had known loss with the passing of his daughter, Lisa, and later, his wife, Sheila.
“He was a marvellous provider, a great businessman but he was also great company,” the congregation was told, as he spoke of how the two men talked during Tom’s illness.
“He got some peace during his sickness which, he deserved, but he took it all with the attitude ‘Sure, what can you do? You just have to get on with it.’
Adding that Thomas McCaffrey came from a long line of “honest, hardworking people” the celebrant added: “Nobody is more aware than Thomas’s girls of what he and Sheila did for them and how they got through life.”
And, urging Thomas’ daughters, their husbands and 10 grandchildren (“who Tom talked about a lot”), to remember what God teaches us, that ‘our parents don’t leave us, they just go to another place,’ Fr D’Arcy said: “As each era ends and another begins, we must all re-learn how to live together.
“That is how it has always been and will always be,” the priest concluded.
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