Bačík, Charles (1910–91), co-founder of modern Waterford Glass, later Waterford Crystal, was born in Nová Říše, near Prague, Czechoslovakia, on 25 June 1910, the second son of Dr Karel Bačík and his wife, Milada, née Hora. He graduated from Charles University, Prague, with a science degree in 1931. After graduation he worked with the Czech multinational shoe manufacturers Bat'a at Zlín (later renamed Gottwaldov). In 1933 he married Edith, daughter of Jindřich and Ida Starch, and they had four children, Milada, Edith, Karel, and Jindřich. Bačík began work in an administrative capacity in the glass works business in Světlá, south-east of Prague, in 1935. Some sources say that after the German invasion of Czechoslovakia he became involved in the resistance movement and was imprisoned in 1940 for a year and a half. He then returned to Světlá. By the time of the communist takeover of Czechoslovakia he was a successful businessman, owning four glass factories.
Bačík fled Czechoslovakia, stopping in Switzerland en route to Ireland, where he arrived in autumn 1946. While in Czechoslovakia he had made the acquaintance of a Dublin gift-shop owner, Bernard J. Fitzpatrick, who had visited his factory at Světlá. Bačík contacted him in Ireland. He then took out a life insurance policy and, using this and other borrowed funds amounting to £15,000, he approached Waterford corporation and chamber of commerce in an attempt to procure a site for a glass factory. Fitzpatrick was also an investor in the project. They secured a site at Ballytruckle, outside Waterford, and the first sod for the new factory was turned on 3 April 1947. Production started later that year. Initially, they imported cheap glass and cut it on site. Bačík had enticed Miroslav Havel, who had worked for him at his glass factory in Světlá, to leave Czechoslovakia and work with him in Waterford. Havel, a skilled glass-cutter and designer, arrived in June. The two men then attempted to produce glass at Waterford. Progress was slow and expensive. The first glass smelting furnace exploded, while the second was less efficient and could only be used to produce soda glass rather than crystal, as was the intention. The new company was in financial difficulty.
In 1948 Joe McGrath (qv), managing director of the Irish Glass Bottle Company, approached Bačík with a view to investment. Bačík refused, but by 1949 Waterford Glass was insolvent. The Irish Glass Bottle Company takeover proceeded in February 1950. Bačík continued to work for the new company, but his position was unclear until he was offered an official position, as technical manager, in the mid 1950s. He formally retired as technical manager in 1974, though he remained on the board of the Waterford Glass Group until his resignation in November 1984. The Globe Investment Trust had bought out the family holdings at Waterford Glass Group in August 1984. Baćik was a member of the knights of Malta, and was president of the European Hand-Made Glass Federation. He died 11 July 1991 at Rathmore House, Fiddown, Co. Kilkenny.
His granddaughter Ivana Bačík (b. 1969) was president of the TCD student union (1989–90) and was appointed Reid professor of criminal law at TCD (1996). She was an unsuccessful Labour Party candidate for Dublin in the 2004 European elections and was elected to Seanad Éireann for Dublin University in 2007.