Country music in mourning after death of Big Tom McBride

Big Tom onstage at the Cork Opera House in December 1981

Big Tom onstage at the Cork Opera House in December 1981

Local, tributes were paid by Cavan-Monaghan Fianna Fail TD Niamh Smyth, who described Big Tom as an Irish "music legend and a true gentleman".

In a statement confirming his passing, his family said: "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear father Big Tom McBride (RIP) this morning". I enjoyed tremendously meeting him on more than one occasion and getting to know him a little bit and certainly enough to know that this is truly a sad day for the country music scene in Ireland.

'May he rest in peace'.

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Tom McBride's wife Rose passed away in January.

He said: "He reached out to people in Ireland and those people who had immigrated from Ireland in the days when so many people live in England and their whole connection with Ireland was the bands on the weekend in the national the forum, and the Galtymore and all the dance around London, Manchester and Birmingham".

Big Tom McBride, pictured with his wife the late Rosie McBride, died on Monday morning. It shows his popularity and legendary status as the king of Irish country music.

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During his life, Tom brought great joy to many people, both in Ireland and worldwide, through his singing and his music. "I want to extend my sympathies to his family and friends".

The Late Late Show Country Special has proven to be one of the most popular episodes with the special in April past year drawing an audience of 677,400 viewers and a 52 per cent audience share.

"He will be missed so, so much".

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