Tributes paid to Shane McEntee
The Agriculture Minister has paid tribute to his big-hearted colleague Shane McEntee.
His popularity crossed the political divide, he took the problems of others to heart and his death has left his friends devastated, Simon Coveney added.
Mr McEntee, minister of state at the Department of Agriculture and Food, is believed to have taken his own life aged 56.
Mr Coveney said: "Shane was one of the most honest and big-hearted people I have ever had the privilege to know.
"His popularity crossed the political divide, everybody loved Shane. We are all just devastated at his untimely death.
"He was such a fantastic support within the Department of Agriculture - talented, down to earth and loyal to the core whenever I needed him."
He said his minister understood farmers and rural people in a way that he could only aspire to.
"Farmers loved Shane for his blunt and practical approach to solving problems," he said.
He was a people person who really took the problems of others to his heart and advocated passionately for the values he believed in and the people he represented."
The funeral of Mr McEntee, who died on Friday, will take place in Co Meath on Monday.