Tributes as Big Tom dies

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Country music star Big Tom has been praised as a "legend" following the sad news that he has passed away.

Local, tributes were paid by Cavan-Monaghan Fianna Fail TD Niamh Smyth, who described Big Tom as an Irish "music legend and a true gentleman".

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

'May he rest in peace'.

The death of the 81-year-old was announced on Tuesday morning, sparking an outpouring of condolences and fond memories about the Monaghan music star.

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Tom McBride was the first person to be inducted into Irelands Country Music Hall Of Fame in 2016.

The "Country Roads" singer was a frequent visitor to the north west, and last August performed at the Millennium Forum in Derry during a special tribute night to him as part of TG4's Opry Dhoire concerts, alongside other musical favourites from across the country including Susan McCann and Dickie Rock.

Big Tom with Brendan McCahey of the Voice of Ireland (left) and Kentstown musician, Tommy Darby (right) in 2014.

"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".

"In recent months the sad and sudden passing of his beloved wife of over 50 years Rose weighed heavy on Tom".

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"Not many people are known by their first name, but that was Big Tom". I am sure his family are devastated at his passing.

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

"But Tom McBride was more than just a singer".

"Big Tom was the King of Country for good reason". Tom was a pivotal member of the community in his native Oram, where he contributed greatly through farming and sport.

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