Tributes to Fiddlin’ Tom, star of country music

The late Tom Cameron. INLT-21-709-con
The late Tom Cameron. INLT-21-709-con

Tributes have been paid to Magheramorne-born country music legend Fiddlin Tom Cameron, who passed away on Sunday May 22.

The popular musician, who lived in Carnalbanagh, was a regular fixture on the country music scene for half a century and played in several bands as well as undertaking solo work.

Rev Paul Reid of Larne and Kilwaughter Old Presbyterian Church led the tributes to the local showman, who he said had been a “close friend” over the years.

“He brought such entertainment for many years to many people, not just in Northern Ireland but across Scotland and across the world,” said Rev Reid.

“He had an amazing career with a number of different bands in dance halls and for the past five or six years he came to our church’s Christmas dinner to entertain us but he never charged. That was the calibre of the man.

“He liked to give something back, he loved people and he loved entertaining.”

“This is a big loss, not just for the community but for the country.

“Tom entertained people through some of the darkest periods in Northern Ireland and brought the community together.”

Funeral Director Michael McSparron, known as ‘the Singing Undertaker’ credited Tom with helping him begin his music career.

“He will be a big loss to the Irish country music scene, which he was a member of for 50 years,” he stated.

“I have been doing it for 15 years and Tom was a massive help, introducing me to people and getting the music played.

“Tom’s music featured on stations including Radio Ulster and Downtown and he had a weekly country music show on Donegal’s Radio North until shortly before his death.

“When he wasn’t well enough to undertake the journey any more he had a studio put into his house.”

Paying tribute to Tom on social media, Magheramorne Silver Band stated: “The members of MSB are saddened to hear of the passing of Fiddlin’ Tom Cameron. Tom was a great local character who brought music to many.

TUV Councillor Ruth Wilson added: “Saddened to hear of the death of Fiddlin Tom a great big Larne man with an amazing talent on the fiddle. Thoughts and prayers with his family at this sad time”

Tom’s funeral will take place at 12pm on Thursday at Carnalbanagh Presbyterian Church, followed by a private burial at Ballycarry New Cemetery.