Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Tributes as 'legend' Big Tom passes away

Tributes as 'legend' Big Tom passes away

Ryan Tubridy has paid tribute to country music star Big Tom McBride, who passed away today, ahead of The Late Late Show Country Special this Friday.

Monaghan, Big Tom (81) had a music career that spanned over 50 years and was much loved by the farming community.

Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/Galway and former country music radio presenter, Eugene Murphy expressed his great sadness at the passing of Big Tom McBride.

They said he would "be sadly missed by all who knew him". "May he rest in peace", the statement continued.

The Late Late Show Country Special has proven to be one of the most popular episodes with the special in April a year ago drawing an audience of 677,400 viewers and a 52 per cent audience share. He was given a lifetime acheivment award in 2016 at the Irish Country Music Awards.

He was one of several artists who took part in a charity concert in Letterkenny previous year following the August floods that devastated parts of Donegal.

Rose McBride, Shirley Jones, Big Tom who made a special appearance for the birthday girl Margo O'Donnell back in 2011.


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar extended his condolences saying "Not many people are known by their first name, but that was Big Tom".

Donegal singer, Daniel O'Donnell, said the world of country music "is a richer place" because of the music Mr McBride left behind. Above all, he was a family man. Tom, and his late wife Rose, formed a strong team in their household and in the wider community. The word "legend" is often overused on occasions like this, but in Tom's case it is truly fitting and well deserved.

"The one thing Big Tom had when he started to sing - he had a great beat that made everyone want to dance". He meant so much to people and so much to the country singers in Ireland.

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