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Irish country music legend Big Tom McBride dies aged 81

17 April 2018

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Arts and TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth says the Irish music industry has lost a legend following the announcement of the death of Big Tom McBride.

As one of the most charismatic and influential artists in Irish country music, Big Tom was widely respected and through his five decades of music making he leaves a lasting legacy.

In a statement, his family said: "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear father Big Tom McBride (RIP) this morning". He will be sadly missed by all who new him.

'May he rest in peace'.

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The hugely popular singer, from Castleblayney in Co Monaghan, became known as "the king" of the Irish country scene in the 60s and 70s.

In June 2016, he was inducted into the Irish Country Music Awards Hall of Fame.

Mr O'Donnell said: "I grew up all through Big Tom's career".

The Taoiseach Tweeted: "Very sad to hear of death of Big Tom".

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"Big Tom is a household name, not only in Ireland, but in many parts of the UK". Remembering bigTom and his late wife Rose who died earlier this year, O'Donnell added: "there's a great reunion in heaven today". The word "legend" is often overused on occasions like this, but in Tom's case it is truly fitting and well deserved. His contribution to Irish social and cultural life in this area has been enormous. Today I am sure he is reunited with Rose. He meant so much to people and so much to the country singers in Ireland.

"Big Tom was the King of Country for good reason".

"I want to extend my condolences to his family and his huge army of fans". Tom was a pivotal member of the community in his native Oram, where he contributed greatly through farming and sport.

Big Tom's house is strictly private.

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Irish country music legend Big Tom McBride dies aged 81