FINE GAEL TD and junior minister Shane McEntee has died.
The Meath East TD had turned 56 on Wednesday.
A brief statement from the Government press office said Deputy McEntee had died suddenly.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Shane’s family and friends at this deeply sad time,” it said.
McEntee was the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture with responsibility for Food, Horticulture and Food Safety.
The Nobber man had been first elected to the Dáil in a by-election for Meath in 2005, following the resignation of John Bruton, and had been re-elected to the newly-created Meath East constituency in 2007 and again in 2011.
He had previously worked as a farmer and in agricultural sales, and as a publican.
He was heavily involved in Gaelic Games and had previously coached Meath’s minor football team. His brother Gerry, a noted surgeon, had played senior inter-county football for the Royals.
He is survived by his wife Kathleen and their three children, Vincent, Helen and Sally.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.