Inquest held into death of politician Shane McEntee

Had been a minister of state at the Department of Agriculture

The inquest into the death of the late Shane McEntee has found he died of asphyxiation. Acting Coroner Dr Mary Flanagan said she accepted medical evidence the death was caused by asphyxiation and would "return a verdict of asphyxiation by ligature".

He had been a minister of state at the Department of Agriculture when he died on December 21st, 2012 at his home at Castletown, Navan, Co Meath.

During the brief inquest last night in Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan, Sgt Mark Tobin of Slane Garda Station said he got a call about a sudden death at 10.30am and went to Mr McEntee’s home.

Pronounced dead
He said Mr McEntee (56) was lying on the ground at the back of a garage adjacent to his home. Sgt Tobin noted marks on his neck. A doctor was already at the scene and Mr McEntee was pronounced dead at 10.49am, Sgt Tobin said.


A deposition from Larry McEntee, a brother of Shane’s, was read into the record by Insp Martina Noonan. It confirmed he had identified his brother on the morning of his death.

Consultant pathologist Dr Muna Sabah said she carried out the postmortem. She found marks on his neck, but there were no other external injuries. He had no evidence of natural disease and blood tests were negative for alcohol and drugs. She said the cause of his death was asphyxiation.

Dr Flanagan said she was satisfied with the doctor’s findings. She extended her sympathies to Mr McEntee’s family, particularly given the time of year of his death.

Inspector Noonan extended sympathies on behalf of An Garda Síochána and remarked on the “great work” Mr McEntee did and that his daughter, Helen, was continuing. The family thanked the coroner’s office for their sensitivity and courtesy.

In a statement on behalf of the McEntee family and friends, Shane’s brother Alan McEntee, accompanied by Shane’s son Vincent, thanked everyone who supported them.

“We would like to think that if any good is to come out of Shane’s untimely death, that people will look out for one another, people they live with, people they work with, people they play with. If we see a friend in difficulty take them by the hand and seek help.”

Fiona Gartland

Fiona Gartland

Fiona Gartland is a crime writer and former Irish Times journalist