Profile: Helen McEntee, the Dáil’s second youngest TD
Daughter of late Minister of State steeped in politics
Helen McEntee: became interested in politics during her schooldays in Meath and went on to complete a degree in economics, politics and law.
The Dáil’s newest TD Helen McEntee has been best known until now as the daughter of the late minister of state and Meath East deputy Shane McEntee, who died late last year.
The 26-year-old is also a niece of Gerry McEntee, the former All-Ireland winning county footballer who is now a high-profile surgeon.
The McEntee family is also well known in Irish Farmers’ Association circles. Ms McEntee still lives in her family home in Castletown, Co Meath, with her mother Kathleen, brother Vincent and sister Sally.
She became interested in politics during her schooldays in Meath and went on to complete a degree in economics, politics and law at Dublin City University (DCU).
After finishing college in 2007, she went to work for a subsidiary of Citibank, but quickly decided the job was not the right one for her.
She went on to complete a masters in journalism and media communications.
In the summer of 2010, she began to work in Leinster House with her father, who was then an opposition TD.
Ms McEntee worked through the 2011 general election and moved with her father to the Department of Agriculture, Marine and Food when he was appointed minister of state with responsibility for food, horticulture and food safety.
She worked on both departmental and constituency issues until her father’s untimely death in December 2012.
While canvassing, she told voters in the constituency that she wanted to continue her father’s work and to be “a young fresh voice”.
She and her team conducted an energetic and upbeat campaign, despite the tragic circumstances in which it was taking place.
While there was much loyalty to the candidate among Fine Gael voters in Meath East, she also managed to retain some of the floating voters who opted for the party in the general election two years ago.
The issues she raised on the doorsteps during the intense canvass included emigration, job creation and supporting local businesses.