A singer/songwriter from Westmeath has expressed her sorrow at the sudden death of her dear friend and neighbour, beef farmer Tom Lynam, in a tractor crash just days after he featured in the video for her latest single ‘Old Fashioned’.

It is thought that Tom may have suffered a heart attack before the recent single vehicle collision on the Mullingar road in Kilbeggan.

“I wrote my song ‘Old Fashioned’ about a year ago and released it on my latest album ‘Breath of Fresh Air’. I was waiting for the summer, when cattle are out to film the video and I needed a farmer to star in it,” said Larissa Tormey.

“So the idea was born to ask Tom, whose late mother was a very close friend of my husband’s late father, Robin Tormey. The two families are neighbours for many years and I am a close friend of his sister, Mary Daly.

“A while ago she played my mam in my music video ‘Only My Heart’. I call her my Irish mam.

‘It’s nice to be remembered’

“Tom had a beef farm next to ours and we saw him everyday, feeding cattle, working on his tractor on the farm and at Kilbeggan racecourse, next to us. I go to the racecourse for cycling and he was always there, waving at me from the tractor,” said Larissa.

Kilbeggan farmer

“I wasn’t sure he would agree but I decided to ask anyway and he said yes, much to everyone’s surprise. When we chatted, he said: ‘Why not, it’s nice to be remembered’. So we spent a great day filming with Steve and Daniel Bloor.

“Tom loved it. We had tea; drove a tractor; herded cattle; danced and chatted. It was a fun day. It was really the first time I talked to him that much.

“Only a few days after, when the video was ready and I was getting ready for release, I received the sad news that Tom had passed away suddenly. So it was a very sad week.

“I sang at his funeral in Kilbeggan and I was going to leave the release of the ‘Old Fashioned’ video until later in the year.

“But his family told me that they wanted me to go ahead with it as planned and that they wanted everyone to remember Tom being happy,” said Larissa.

Kilbeggan farmer

“Tom was big into country music and dancing when he was younger, I was told. He was also very involved in many societies in Kilbeggan including building a new parish hall and the Kilbeggan church renovation fund. He was very popular in Kilbeggan.”

Larissa who is from central Russia, trained as a classical pianist and mezzo soprano. She met her husband, farmer and butcher, Christy Tormey in Moscow in 2001.

She went on to make a name for herself on the Irish country music scene after marrying Christy and moving to Kilbeggan with her daughter.

“I will always treasure my memories of Tom, and I am dedicating this video for ‘Old Fashioned’ to his memory,” she said.