'The king will live on' - Hundreds attend Big Tom's funeral

The funeral of country musicstar Big Tom McBride has been told that "The king will live on."

Hundreds of people descended on Oram, Co Monaghan to pay their last respects to the star, who died on Tuesday aged 81.

Mr McBride's children Thomas, Dermot, Aisling and Siobhan and his sister Madge led the mourners.

Included among the attendance today were singers and performers from the Irish country music scene including Daniel O'Donnell, Margo,Philomena Begley and Dickie Rock.

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

When he arrived, Daniel O'Donnell said pack: "You think people like Tom are going to go on forever.

"And in the country music circle, there's no question that he was the king, and he will be the king.

"He may be gone, but the king will live on, in everybody's hearts and certainly in his music."

Big Tom's coffin was draped with an Oram Sarsfields GAA flag.

President of Ireland Michael D Higgins visited Big Tom's family at the family home on Thursday evening.

The president was represented at the funeral by his aide de camp, while Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was also represented.

An Oram GAA flag, Big Tom's Golden Disc, a tractor, a guitar, a fishing rod, and family photos were brought forward by family members to celebrate the star and his great loves.

Father Leo Creelman said it was a sad day for "the world of country music and for many, many people throughout our country and beyond".

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," Father Creelman said.

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.

"I could dwell on his professional career, on his undoubted success and popularity in the Irish country music scene.

"He was referred to as a legend, a giant, an icon, a king, labels often liberally thrown out about others, but titles that Big Tom richly deserved and earned after decades of success in the country music scene, culminating with a lifetime achievement award at the Irish Country Music Awards in 2016."

Father Creelman said Friday was a day to focus on "Tom the family man, the ordinary man, a man very much down to earth", adding: "And it was the earth of this place Oram, CoMonaghan, that kept Tom McBride grounded. He loved this place.

"He loved his home, he loved his family, he loved the land. Locals here would often see Tom travelling round the little roads on his quad.

"Not only would they see him but hear him too, as that noisy exhaust never seemed to get fixed.

"But that was where Tom seemed to be the happiest, out and about, whether counting rabbits in the field or cutting ivy away from choking a tree.

"He loved the land, out on the old tractor ploughing or spraying the spuds, other times he was in the garden with the vegetables and flowers.

"Sometimes the outside came in, along with the associated smells, as he would lovingly incubate chick eggs in the good front room of the house, something that drove Rose mad."

The priest said Big Tom had a "healthy interest" in vintage tractors and all things old, and tractors were parked up in a line in the field opposite the church.

He told the packed church that Big Tom enjoyed golf, John Wayne films and water skiing, and played gaelic football for Oram, captaining the junior team to a winning double in 1963.

Afterwards Big Tom McBride was interred beside his wife Rose in a cemetery beside the church, where local man Jim O'Neill delivered a graveside oration.

Members of the Mainlinersperformed a rendition of Gentle Mother, the number one hit that brought the band to fame, at the graveside.

Read more news of Dublin on our site.

If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
6 views in september
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Comments are designed to communicate and discuss the features of an enterprise or event, as well as to find out the interesting questions on it.

A number of Ulster Bank customers are currently being impacted by an issue with the bank’s Anytime and Mobile Banking services. In a statement Ulster Bank said that it was aware that there are some issues on its Anytime and Mobile Banking services, and that it is working to fix them. The bank advised customers that its telephone banking and ATM services have not been impacted by the problem. "We are aware that customers are currently experiencing issues lo...
TWO national school teachers and an accountant have been spared jail for their part in a violent brawl in a well-known Dublin pub. Teachers Michael Davitt and Seamus O Cearra, as well as accountant Conor Shannon all walked free from court today after admitting violent disorder charges in the 10-man melee. A fourth accused, warehouse manager and soccer team captain Stephen Cantwell also avoided a prison sentence while a fifth, electrician David McSweeney wa...
Two people have been hospitalised with serious injuries and a man arrested on suspicion of drink-driving following a collision in Co Wexford. The two-car crash happened at The Leap in Clonroche at around 8.30pm yesterday evening. A man and woman, both in their 50s, were taken by ambulance to Wexford General Hospital. The driver of the second car, a man in his 50s, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of drink-driving. He has since been released from cust...
Long-standing plans to deliver hundreds of new homes on the site of the former Player Wills cigarette factory on Dublin's South Circular Road have come up against yet another obstacle. Documents lodged in the High Court showed the site's Nama-appointed receivers, Paul McCann and Stephen Tennant of Grant Thornton, are locked in legal proceedings in an effort to remove a company operating a salvage business from the site. The case relating to the tenancy rig...
Health Minister Simon Harris has been told his decision on whether to grant access to a revolutionary new drug for children with a rare degenerative condition is one of life or death. Families, friends, supporters and sufferers of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) gathered outside the Dail yesterday to call for access to the drug Spinraza. The only drug ever manufactured to treat SMA, a degenerative neuromuscular disorder, it is licensed, available and changin...
Storm damage at the ploughing championships has forced organisers to cancel the second day of the event. More than 100,000 people had been scheduled to attend Ireland's largest annual outdoor event outside Tullamore, Co Offaly. However, two delayed openings were not enough to save the National Ploughing Association (NPA) event, after tents were badly damaged by the gusting winds. NPA assistant managing director Anna Marie McHugh said the organisers will no...
A dream holiday to Ireland turned to tragedy for a tourist who died after her caravan was blown into the sea as Storm Ali battered the country. The woman, named locally as Elvira Ferraii from Switzerland, had arrived in the Clifden area of Galway the day before the tragic incident. She rented a caravan and was staying at the Clifden Eco Beach camping and caravan site in the Claddaghduff area, along the Atlantic coastline. At around 7.45am yesterday the car...
Teachers Michael Davitt and Seamus O Cearra and accountant Conor Shannon all walked free from court yesterday after admitting violent disorder charges over the 10-man melee. A fourth accused, warehouse manager Stephen Cantwell, also avoided a prison term while a fifth, electrician David McSweeney, was jailed for six months. Passing sentence, Judge Brian O'Shea said the teachers were "ambassadors for their schools" whenever they went out and they had "let t...
ESB Networks says 39,000 homes, farms and businesses are still without power this morning after StormAli crossed the country yesterday. Repair crews workedthrough the night, but 1,600 individual faults remain on the network. It says it hopes to restore power to everyone affected today. ESB Networks Operations Manager Derek Hynes said most repairs are in the Cavan/Longford, Monaghan and Mayo areas. He saidcrews need to get to 1,600 locations today andwarned...