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Shane Alan McEntee (19 December 1956 – 21 December 2012) was an Irish Fine Gael politician who served as Minister of State for Food, Horticulture and Food Safety from 2011 to 2012. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) from 2005 to 2012.[1]

Shane McEntee
Minister of State for Food, Horticulture and Food Safety
In office
10 March 2011 – 21 December 2012
TaoiseachEnda Kenny
Preceded byCiarán Cuffe
Succeeded byTom Hayes
Teachta Dála
In office
May 2007 – 21 December 2012
ConstituencyMeath East
Teachta Dála
In office
March 2005 – May 2007
Personal details
Shane Alan McEntee

(1956-12-19)19 December 1956
Nobber, County Meath, Ireland
Died21 December 2012(2012-12-21) (aged 56)
Castletown, County Meath, Ireland
Political partyFine Gael
Spouse(s)Kathleen McEntee
RelationsGerry McEntee (Brother)
Children4, including Helen
Alma materUniversity College Dublin


Early life and familyEdit

McEntee was born in the village of Nobber in County Meath. He had seven siblings. His father Tony died in March 2011 at the age of 86 while his mother Madge outlived him.[2]

He became an active member of Fine Gael when he joined the party at the age of 15. Before being elected, he worked as a farmer and agricultural sales representative. He ran the "Dee Local Bar".

McEntee was also very involved in the Gaelic Athletic Association, both as a player (until an injury ended his promising career) and training numerous teams. He was a brother of Gerry McEntee, the All-Ireland winning Meath footballer and surgeon.

He was married with three daughters and a son.[3] His daughter Helen McEntee succeeded him as TD for Meath East after his death.


A close friend of Taoiseach Enda Kenny,[4] McEntee's election candidacy began in 2004 when he was selected as the Fine Gael candidate in the Meath by-election, which was triggered by the resignation from Dáil Éireann of Fine Gael's former leader, John Bruton. Polling was on 11 March 2005, and McEntee narrowly beat the Fianna Fáil candidate Shane Cassells, and was elected to the 29th Dáil.

McEntee was re-elected at the 2007 and 2011 general elections.[5] He was the Fine Gael deputy spokesperson on Agriculture, Fisheries and Food with special responsibility for Food and Fisheries from 2007 to 2011. On 10 March 2011, he was appointed as the Minister of State for Food, Horticulture and Food Safety.

McEntee was also a successful campaigner on behalf of families in counties Dublin, Meath and Kildare whose homes had been damaged by pyrite in stone used in the foundations.

During the 2010 Fine Gael leadership heave McEntee gave an impassioned speech in defence of party leader Enda Kenny.[6]


McEntee committed suicide on 21 December 2012, two days after his 56th birthday.[7][8][9] McEntee had been feeling under pressure because of criticism of a number of Government budgetary decisions.[2] His funeral took place on 24 December 2012.

The by-election for his seat was held on 27 March 2013, and was won by his daughter Helen McEntee.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Mr. Shane McEntee". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  2. ^ a b "Political world is rocked by tragic death of junior minister". Irish Independent. 22 December 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  3. ^ "Death announced of Minister of State Shane McEntee". RTÉ News. 21 December 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  4. ^ Sheahan, Fionnan; Telford, Lyndsey (21 December 2012). "Taoiseach in shock as Junior Minister Shane McEntee dies suddenly". Irish Independent. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  5. ^ "Shane McEntee". Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  6. ^ Sheahan, Fionnan; Kelly, Fiach (22 December 2012). "A rousing speech that helped to save Kenny's leadership". Irish Independent. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  7. ^ Minihan, Mary (22 December 2012). "Tributes paid to late junior minister Shane McEntee". The Irish Times. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  8. ^ "Minister of State Shane McEntee dies suddenly". Irish Examiner. 21 December 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  9. ^ "Funeral arrangements for Minister Shane McEntee". Meath Chronicle. 21 December 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  10. ^ "Helen McEntee wins Meath East by-election after third count". RTÉ News. 28 March 2013.
Preceded by
John Bruton
(Fine Gael)
Fine Gael Teachta Dála for Meath
Constituency abolished
New constituency Fine Gael Teachta Dála for Meath East
Succeeded by
Helen McEntee
Political offices
Preceded by
Ciarán Cuffe
as Food and Horticulture
Minister of State for Food, Horticulture and Food Safety
Succeeded by
Tom Hayes
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Gerry Cooney
Meath Minor Football manager
Succeeded by
Benny Reddy