On Tuesday night he remains of singer, who passed away aged 81, were brought home to Oram village in Co Monaghan for a public reposal at the community centre, with the coffin placed beneath a giant mural of the man himself. People have flocked from all over Ireland to rural County Monaghan to pay tribute to the man they called “the King” of Irish country.

Big Tom McBride, as he was affectionately known by his friends and fans, was a renowned musician. He died on Monday aged 81 and his funeral takes place tomorrow, Friday, 20 April. The Oram GAA club opened just after midday on Wednesday and a steady stream of people through its doors to say one last goodbye to the Irish country legend.  Just like his concerts, people came from far and near to pay their respects. One of the many fans queuing talked of a concert in bygone days stating a journey of four and a half hours on a Honda 50 to see him play in 1981. Another remarked on how a queue of two and a half hours into a dance hall for a Mainliners gig had been the usual thing.

Big Tom was a big influence on country singer Derek Ryan. Derek even shared the stage with Big Tom when he was a young boy. “I got to support him when I was 12 years-old. Myself and my brother supported Big Tom at the Lord Bagenal in Leighlinbridge Bridge, County Carlow. “The band let me play the drums, and I told everybody I was playing Big Tom’s drums – I was delighted with myself. “It is a sad day and it’s a loss to Irish music,” he said.

The funeral Mass on Friday will take place at 11 O’ Clock in St. Patrick’s Church Oram, burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery. Funeral Mass will be broadcast live on Northern Sound FM. All enquires to C/o Peter Mc Caughey Funeral Director.