Big Tom's family upset as memorial cards are used for raffle spot prizes
The promotion of Big Tom McBride memorial cards as spot prizes in a raffle has caused anguish to the singer's loved ones, the Irish Independent has learned.
Shortly after the funeral of the country star last month, a Facebook post from the Ballyleague Renewal voluntary group, advertised the "unique spot prize," a "real collector's item" as the memorial cards.
"Only 500 printed and all gone," the advertisement stated. "This piece of memorabilia will be a prize in the raffle."
Peter McCaughey, the funeral director who presided over the country singer's requiem Mass, told the Irish Independent 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 memorial cards.
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.
But a spokesman earlier told Shannonside FM there had been an error of judgment and no malice had been intended.
The singer's funeral took place on April 20 in front of hundreds in Oram, Co Monaghan.
His children Thomas, Dermot, Aisling and Siobhán, and sister Madge led the mourners.
Big Tom and the Mainliners were formed in the 1960s and achieved success with hits including 'Gentle Mother' and 'Four Country Roads'.
The Ballyleague Renewal group is working on Tidy Towns and is based on the Roscommon-Longford border.