Sadness at passing of country legend Big Tom

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The death has occurred of well known Irish country music star Big Tom, who had a number of links to Dundalk.

He was a stalwart of the showband and country music scene with his band The Mainliners, with a career spanning more than 50 years.

'Dad passed away peacefully in the company of his family.

They said he would "be sadly missed by all who knew him".

"May he rest in peace".

Speaking about this year's Country Music special Tubridy said: "This is the third year of our Country Specials and it has really established itself as one of the audience's favourite Late Late Shows".

In 2016, Big Tom McBride became the first inductee into the Irish Country Music Hall of Fame.

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"Not many people are known by their first name, but that was Big Tom".

"On behalf of the priests and people of the Diocese of Clogher, I pray that God will grant Big Tom eternal rest and I extend to his family our prayers and honest sympathy at this time".

Donegal singer, Daniel O'Donnell, said the world of country music "is a richer place" because of the music Mr McBride left behind. Today I am sure he is reunited with Rose.

"Irish music has truly lost a legend today".

"Big Tom is a household name, not only in Ireland, but in many parts of the UK". His contribution to Irish social and cultural life in this area has been enormous.

Big Tom appeared on The Late Late Show several times. He meant so much to people and so much to the country singers in Ireland.

Big Tom's house is strictly private. Tom was a pivotal member of the community in his native Oram, where he contributed greatly through farming and sport.

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