Belfast Telegraph

Big Tom McBride memorial cards offered as spot prizes in raffle

Family's anguish as people try to 'capitalise' on death of country legend Big Tom

By Laura Lynott

The promotion of Big Tom McBride memorial cards as spot prizes in a raffle has caused anguish to the singer’s loved ones, it has emerged.

Shortly after the funeral of the country star last month a Facebook post from the Ballyleague Renewal voluntary group advertised the memorial cards as a “unique spot prize” and a “real collector’s item”.

“Only 500 printed and all gone,” the advertisement stated.

“This piece of memorabilia will be a prize in the raffle.”

The undertaker responsible for the singer’s funeral, Peter McCaughey, said he wanted people to “respect the family and give them time to grieve”.

It is understood a number of groups have been advertising the sale of Big Tom merchandise, as well as the promotion of the Mass cards.

A source indicated his bereaved family had become aware of this behaviour and it was seen in bad taste that some had been trying to “capitalise” on selling merchandise when the singer’s month’s mind had not yet been marked.

The Ballyleague Renewal group said it would not be commenting on the issue.

However, the group earlier told Shannonside FM there had been an “error of judgment” and that “no malice” was intended.

The star’s funeral took place on April 20 in Co Monaghan. 

His children Thomas, Dermot, Aisling and Siobhan and his sister Madge led the mourners.

Big Tom And The Mainliners were formed in the 1960s and achieved widespread success.

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