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Death of Member: Expressions of Sympathy (Continued)

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 791 No. 2

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  12 o’clock

(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Damien English: Information on Damien English Zoom on Damien English]  Shane was a proud Meath man who entered politics for all the right reasons. He genuinely wanted to improve things for the people of Meath and for his country. Shane believed in public service and he was proud to serve. Everyone who knew him and worked with him was extremely fond of him and they all knew how genuine and true he was.

Throughout his career in politics, Shane threw his energy into fighting for his people. He did not win every battle but he made sure, at the very least - be it in opposition or in government - to put up a good fight. It was not unusual in our area to wake up to hear Shane on LMFM radio in the morning, starting a new campaign in which Fine Gael would be involved. One might give out and say, "Here we go again, another campaign", but one followed him into it. That was Shane - everything became a campaign and everything was a battle. Shane had the art of campaigning down to a tee. He never took "No" for an answer. In footballing terms, as Shane always put it, he never took his eye off the ball. In my office, Shane's approach was called the "Mac attack".

As a colleague in Meath, I had the pleasure of working with him on some of these campaigns, including road safety, pylons, pyrite and our local hospital. Shane always set the bar high for all of us involved in those campaigns, and rightly so. Some of us might get obsessed with detail and the process of getting there, but that was not Shane's concern. He just kept the end target in sight; we were going to win this campaign and that was it.

Shane was a key campaigner for rural Ireland and its heritage. He took on a leading role on many issues, including hunting, farming and the right to live and work on one's land. On these issues, Shane was certainly not one to sit on the fence. For Shane, it was never just about votes or politics, it was more real than that; people always came first. If Shane thought a person or family was in need, he was the first to their door. Their issue became his issue.

Shane was a good friend to all of us here in Leinster House. I will miss his visits to my office where he would pop in for five minutes and stay for an hour. One would always hear Shane coming up the corridor because he would stop at everyone's door to say "Hello" and ask "How's the family?" That was Shane. He would ask "How's the wee man?" or "How's the wee girl?". Family meant the world to Shane. I know that Kathleen and the children, as well as his brothers, sisters and friends, are here today. Shane often spoke about them with a smile and a glint in his eye. He was very proud of all of them. They were a big presence in everything he did and everything he worked for. My thoughts and prayers are with them. I hope Shane is at peace now. He really will be missed by all of us in this House. May he rest in peace.

Deputy Ray Butler: Information on Ray Butler Zoom on Ray Butler I am grateful to have this opportunity to speak about a great friend and a valued colleague, the late Shane McEntee. He was a wonderful support to me throughout my election campaign. I feel honoured to be able to say that he subsequently became a true friend. So much has already been said about this man who showed such great dedication to his work. He was a man with a strong work ethic who tried so hard to deliver the very best outcome in all instances. He represented those who elected him in great earnest, dealing with every problem head on as best he could - be it from the man down the street or the many organisations he dealt with on a daily basis.

On any given occasion I called on Shane for advice he was always there and his good counsel could be relied upon every time. He made great sacrifices throughout his political career and as a consequence of that, so did his wife Kathleen and their family. As a man of great integrity, his untimely passing and loss will continue to be felt both in this House and far beyond.

It is said that a person's true wealth is the good that he or she does in the world. In Shane's case, I believe that no truer words could apply. Like Shane's beloved family, the people of Meath and his Fine Gael colleagues will continue to feel his loss for many years to come.

I would like to echo the Taoiseach's fine words at the graveside: "Please God, Shane, we'll meet you up the road some day again."

  Members rose.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett May he rest in peace.


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