Tuesday the 2nd of March

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Ireland mourns music legend and ‘family man’ Big Tom McBride

Stars of the Irish country music scene joined hundreds of mourners have paid their respects to country music legend and “family man” Big Tom McBride.

Mourners packed out St Patrick’s Church, Oram, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, in the parish of Muckno, Diocese of Clogher, earlier today, as fellow Irish musician Daniel O’Donnell declared: “The king will live on”.

Fr Leo Creelman told the congregation it was a sad day for “the world of country music and for many, many people throughout our country and beyond” as they paid their respects to Big Tom, who died on Tuesday 17th April, aged 81.

He said it was “a heartbreaking replay of events” for the family, as they buried their mother – Big Tom’s wife Rose – earlier this year.

“When Rose died a massive part of Tom went with her. He was lost, dazed and brokenhearted,” Fr Creelman said.

Big Tom and The Mainliners were formed in the 1960s and achieved widespread success, with Big Tom’s hits including Gentle Mother, Four Country Roads and Old Log Cabin For Sale.

The priest told the congregation: “Big Tom had an amazing presence when he walked into a room or on to a stage.

“He was a man big in stature, matched up with an even bigger heart. Despite all his success and fame, he always remained humble and down to earth and first and foremost a family man.”

Picture: The coffin of Big Tom McBride is taken from Saint Patrick’s Church in Oram, County Monaghan, during the funeral for the funeral of country music star. (Brian Lawless/PA).