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Death of Member: Expressions of Sympathy

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Snippet Contents:

It is with sadness I stand today to mourn our late colleague, the Minister of State, Shane McEntee. I first met Shane during the Meath by-election in 2005 when I was also a candidate. That by-election saw him elected for the first time to the House. While the campaign was tough and intense, as all elections are, throughout it Shane was a gentleman and was pleasant on the campaign trail. In the following years I got to know Shane better. I was elected to the Seanad in 2007 when he was elected to this House for the second time. After my election Shane was very welcoming to me as a fellow Member of the Oireachtas from the royal county. He ensured I was invited along to meet all the various delegations and representations and to meetings with regard to the county of Meath.
On behalf of the Labour Party in Meath I can say that in all of our dealings with Shane we found him very easy to get on with. He was a straight-up honest man who was very fair. His goodness was evident to anybody who crossed his path. One always came away from a conversation with Shane knowing he would try his very best to help one out in any way he could. As political opponents we were only too well aware of the qualities Shane had. It was second nature to Shane to be able to connect with people. He could be speaking at a difficult public meeting or in the middle of a big argument on a radio show but he always managed to find the words to win the argument, often with a smile or an anecdote about a forthcoming football match or perhaps something to do with the farm on which he worked. I remember ringing Shane one morning to discuss a relevant issue of the day and I could hear noise in the background. I asked Shane what it was and he told me he was out in a field with some cows doing a bit of work. That was Shane; he managed to combine so much in his life.
Everybody is very well aware of the qualities he had and how he could connect with people and how one knew he was straight up every time one met him. We would all agree the place was much better when Shane was around. I know I speak for the people of Meath when I say Shane will be remembered as a fine man and a dedicated Deputy for the people. I have spoken to many people in recent weeks and wherever one goes in the county one meets people who were touched in some way by Shane. He gave his help and advice freely and people always knew Shane was there for them. He was respected by all and loved by many. We will all miss him in this House. To his wife Kathleen and his family I say I am very truly sorry for their loss.