THE LATE TD and Minister of State Shane McEntee will be laid to rest after a funeral service on Monday.
The Meath East TD died suddenly at home yesterday – he had just turned 56 on Wednesday. His body will repose at his home at Mitchelstown, Castletown outside Navan, Co Meath from 7pm today. His body will then be removed to St. John the Baptist Church, Nobber, tomorrow evening to arrive there at 7pm. A funeral Mass will be held at 11am on Monday, Christmas Eve, before he is laid to rest in Nobber cemetery.
The death of Mr McEntee was met with shock by his colleagues, friends and family yesterday. President Michael D Higgins said he was “very saddened” to learn of the death of his former Dáil colleague and joined the country in extending condolences to Shane’s wife Kathleen and their three children, Vincent, Helen and Sally.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he was “devastated” at the death of his “loyal friend” and a party and Dáil colleague who first took a seat in Leinster House in 2005. Further tributes to Mr McEntee can be read here – he was popular across all parties and was described by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin as “a true gentleman”.
As a former farmer himself, Shane McEntee was highly regarded by the farming sector as a “decent, hard-working public representative” at his post in the Department of Agriculture and Food.
His close colleague, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney, released a statement today on the death:
The news yesterday of Shane’s death has shocked and numbed us all in Fine Gael and in the Department of Agriculture. Shane was one of the most honest and big-hearted people I have ever had the privilege to know. His popularity crossed the political divide, everybody loved Shane. We are all just devastated at his untimely death.
He was such a fantastic support within the Department of Agriculture – talented, down to earth and loyal to the core whenever I needed him. He understood farmers and rural people in a way that I can only aspire to.
Farmers loved Shane for his blunt and practical approach to solving problems. He was a people person who really took the problems of others to his heart and advocated passionately for the values he believed in and the people he represented.
Shane was such a family man, his wife Kathleen and his children meant everything to him. They will miss him so much and our thoughts and prayers this Christmas and for a long time after will be with them all.
Meanwhile, his constituency colleagues from Fine Gael also released a joint statement today. Regina Doherty called him a “loyal and caring friend” who had been a “tower of strength” to her, looking out for her in Leinster House in her first months as a new TD. Ray Butler also spoke of being taken “under his wing”, and called his loss a “terrible tragedy”. Damien English spoke of how close Shane McEntee was to his family and how the community would “reciprocate with its support, esteem and care for Shane’s family, as he would have done for any of us”.