Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Arts and TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth says the Irish music industry has lost a legend following the announcement of the death of Big Tom McBride.

“I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Big Tom this morning.  He was an Irish music legend and a true gentleman”, said Deputy Smyth.

“Big Tom is a household name, not only in Ireland, but in many parts of the UK.  He was a stalwart of the showband and country music scene with his band The Mainliners, with a career spanning more than 50 years.

“From Four Country Roads to Gentle Mother, his hits have travelled far and wide, earning him the title of the King of Country Music.  Despite being a living legend, Tom was always an extremely humble and gentle man.  Oram, Castleblayney to his core, he always spoke proudly about his Monaghan roots.

“Irish music has truly lost a legend today.  I want to extend my sympathies to his family and friends.

“Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”