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Last Updated: Friday, 16 February 2007, 11:24 GMT
Morelli's ice cream founder dies
Angelo Morelli pictured in 2003
Angelo Morelli pictured in 2003
The founder of the famous Morelli ice cream brand in Portstewart, Angelo Morelli, has died. He was 99.

Mr Morelli passed away peacefully at his home in Cassalattico, southern Italy, on Wednesday, after a short illness.

He had built up an empire of cafes and shops in Northern Ireland.

After Italy declared its support for Hitler in 1940, he was one of many Italian immigrants interned in a camp on the Isle of Man.

He was put on a deportation ship to Canada, but taken off at the last minute.

Virtually the whole family has come to Italy for his funeral
Nino Morelli
Angelo's son
The ship was sunk by a German U-boat in the Atlantic with total loss of life.

Other local Italians, who had been born on British soil, took over the running of the business.

The family did not let their wartime experiences hold them back, and their businesses developed rapidly. Angelo returned to Italy in the mid-1990s with his wife.

Aside from shops in Portstewart and Portrush, there is now also a Morelli franchise.

Mr Morelli's son, Nino, who is the current owner of the Portstewart outlet, said his father was "an institution".

"He has three sons, 13 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren who all loved him, and virtually the whole family has come to Italy for his funeral," he said.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
A profile of Angelo Morelli



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