The singer Big Tom McBride, one of the icons of Irish country music, has died at the age of 81.

In a statement, his family said: ”It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear father Big Tom McBride (RIP) this morning.

“Dad passed away peacefully in the company of his family.

“He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

“May he rest in peace.”

Tom McBride’s wife Rose passed away in January.