Minister of State Shane McEntee dies suddenly
Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney also expressed his shock and sadness at the news of Mr McEntee’s death. "I’m deeply shocked and deeply saddened by the death of Shane McEntee. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family at what must be an awful and difficult time."
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin described Mr McEntee as a "true gentleman who commanded the genuine affection and respect of people on all sides of the House". He said the thoughts of the Fianna Fáil party were with McEntee's family and with his colleagues in Fine Gael "at this terrible time".
Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said he was shocked by the news. "It was with shock that I learned the sad news today of the passing of Shane McEntee,” he said. “My thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this sad time."
Former Fine Gael taoiseach and Meath TD John Bruton said Mr McEntee’s death was a huge loss. “He was a man of unlimited emotional, and practical, commitment to any task he took on. It absorbed him totally. No effort was ever spared,” he said. “He was a great success in politics. His victory in the 2005 by election testified to his deep identification with the people of Meath , and theirs with him. He leaves a gaping void in the life of his family, his county and his country.”
Fianna Fáil Senator Thomas Byrne, a former Meath East TD, paid tribute to Mr McEntee’s work in the constituency. “We often worked together on local issues and while we may have been political opponents he was always very kind and generous with his time,” he said. “Shane’s contributions to politics, gaelic football and his community were immense. He was popular across party lines and he will be sorely missed.”
In a statement, the Irish Farmers’ Association expressed shock at Mr McEntee’s death. “Shane McEntee was a decent, hardworking public representative and farmers were very proud of his appointment as Minister of State with responsibility for forestry last year. He worked tirelessly on behalf of his constituents and the farming community to find solutions,” said IFA president John Bryan. “Shane and his father Tony before him were hugely committed to IFA’s work in improving the conditions of farm families, and this was appreciated the length and breadth of the country”.
Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association president Gabriel Gilmartin said Mr McEntee “had an acute understanding of the farming sector and worked hard during his tenure” while ICMSA president John Comer said Mr McEntee’s death would touch the hearts of families all over the country. “Mr Mc Entee was both popular and respected and his knowledge of farming was complete and hugely impressive," Mr Comer said.
Northern Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Michelle O’Neill said she had worked very closely with Mr McEntee on various industry matters. “He will be very sadly missed.”