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People flocked from all over Ireland to rural County Monaghan to pay tribute to the man they called “the King.”

Big Tom McBride, as he was affectionately known by his friends and fans, was a renowned musician.

He died on Monday aged 81 and his funeral takes place on Friday, 20 April.

The doors of Oram GAA club opened just after midday on Wednesday and a steady stream of people lined up to say one last goodbye.

Mr McBride was best known for his role as the front man in Big Tom and The Mainliners.

His band mate Henry McMahon, who grew up only three miles from Big Tom, was in Oram to pay tribute to his close friend.

“Big Tom was an icon, and carried his stardom very light, he was an absolute gentleman.,” he said,

Henry attributes The Mainliners’ initial success to appearing on RTÉ – the national broadcaster in Ireland.

“We got a spot on The Showband Show. The other artist on the show that night was Joe Dolan and the newcomer spot was The Mainliners.

“Big Tom sang a song called Gentle Mother and that was the start of a fabulous career for us all.

“The craic was great because we were all doing something we loved. We didn’t look at it as a job at all,” he added.