At 11.00am this morning, the funeral mass for the late Big Tom McBride will be celebrated in Saint Patrick’s Church, Oram, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan.
In conjunction with An Garda Síochána, stewards will facilitate mourners and help to direct traffic. Parking is very limited and priority will be given to members of the family, relatives and close friends. "The co-operation by everyone in attendance would be appreciated," said a spokesperson for the Church.
Father Leo Creelman CC, Castleblayney, will be chief celebrant of the Mass which will be attended by family, neighbours, friends and by the local community.
Many people associated with the world of music will be in attendance, as will public figures. Uachtarán na hÉireann, Michael D Higgins and An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, will be represented by their respective Aides de Camp.
The Mass will be followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery.
As the Church has a limited capacity of two hundred seats, attendance inside the Church is strictly reserved for family, relatives and close friends only.
"Out of respect for the solemnity of the Mass, and to provide privacy and space to the family, the use of camera equipment by media within the Church, or its grounds, is forbidden during and after the Funeral Mass," said a spokesperson for the Church.
Big Tom's family announced his death on Tuesday morning on his public Facebook page.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear father Big Tom McBride (RIP) this morning,” they wrote.
“Dad passed away peacefully in the company of his family. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him."
The Monaghan-born singer formed his band Big Tom and the Mainliners back in the 1960s and he was still performing live right up until recently.
Paying tribute this morning, Daniel O'Donnell said: "We all referred to him as the King. He reached out to people in Ireland and those people who had emigrated from Ireland.
He will be missed so, so much. He was the greatest."
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.