As gentle giant Big Tom McBride is laid to rest today, nine-year-old Breanna McCann will shed a tear for the singer she adored.

Tom's funeral is taking place in Castleblaney, Co Monaghan, where heartbroken Breanna will be among hundreds of mourners who have travelled from far and wide to pay their respects.

Breanna told Morning Ireland reporter Cian McCormack: "Every St Paddy's Day I always went to see him and got a picture with him. It won't be the same.

"I was a big fan of him and I loved all his songs. I love jiving to all his songs. My nanny put on music when I was a child - I was two or three - and I just started dancing to him. Then, once I got older, I just loved his songs."

Breanna, whose nanny burst out crying when she heard Tom was dead, added: "It was just shocking to hear that he was dead."

Cian also spoke to locals in the town, including owner of Eileen's Tea Rooms, Terry Sloan.

One local said that following Tom's death "the town has lost its heart". The front page of the Northern Standard went as far as proclaiming on its front page 'The King is Dead'.

There is no doubt that today marks the passing of an Irish legend.