Monsignor Joseph McGuinness, Diocesan Administrator of Clogher, has paid tribute to country music star Big Tom McBride, a native of Oram, Castleblayney, in Co Monaghan, who died earlier today. The Funeral Mass for Big Tom will be celebrated at 11.00am on Friday 20 April in Saint Patrick’s Church, Oram, in the parish of Castleblayney.
In his tribute, Monsignor McGuinness said, ‘Like many people around the country, we have all learned with great sadness of the death of Big Tom. The word “legend” is often overused on occasions like this, but in Tom’s case it is truly fitting and well deserved. During his life, Tom brought great joy to many people, both in Ireland and worldwide, through his singing and his music. His contribution to Irish social and cultural life in this area has been enormous.
‘But Tom McBride was more than just a singer. 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. Tom was a pivotal member of the community in his native Oram, where he contributed greatly through farming and sport. He was very proud of that community and of County Monaghan in general.’
He concluded, ‘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 sincere sympathy at this time.’
Fans and friends of Big Tom are invited to pay their respects between 12.00pm and 8.00pm, tomorrow, Wednesday, in Oram Community Centre in the Parish of Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, where his remains will be lying in repose. The removal of the remains will take place on Friday morning and Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11.00am in Saint Patrick’s Church, Oram, and will be broadcast on Shannonside-Northern Sound (96.3 FM). The remains of Big Tom McBride will be buried after Mass in the adjoining cemetery.