THE UNSEEN WORK of Shane McEntee on behalf of the Dignity4Patients group has been lauded by Bernadette Sullivan, Executive Director.
Speaking this week in the wake of the politician's shock death on December 21st, she said Shane was a great friend of the group and gave his time unselfishly to them.
'As a member of the North East Cross Party political group founded in 2008 to support the work of Dignity4Patients, Shane gave immense support, advice and representation to Dignity4patients, as an organisation based in his area, providing both a local and national service,' she stated.
'In more recent times his availability was limited by his Ministerial responsibilities but his earlier contribution was never forgotten by Dignity4Patients. His interest in the work of the organisation continued.
'In our experience Shane was a humane and caring person first, a politician second.
'On one occasion in the early days, I contacted him in desperation as we had no funds to pay a helpline phone bill.I contacted him for funding advice. Shane paid the bill when funds were not available.'
Bernadette said he was a 'friend and a great support' in difficult times.
'He never failed to express his genuine concern and understanding,' she added.
Shane McEntee died by suicide on December 21st, sparking widespread grief and shock.
He was always regarded as a great worker for many groups and organisations and thousands gathered at his funeral in Nobber on Christmas Eve.
His Fine Gael colleague Mairead McGuinness MEP spoke about Shane as being a great friend 'with a big heart'.
'He loved his family, his county, his country, his GAA, his politics and he loved people.
'In his political life he did his very best for his constituents.
'We were all delighted when he was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, a role he took to with great enthusiasm and commitment. It is hard to believe that he is no longer with us.'
Shane is survived by wife Kathleen and Aoife, Vincent, Helen and Sally, grandkids Eoin and Cian, mother Madge, brothers, sister, mother-in-law, aunts, uncle, other relatives and a wide circle of lifelong friends, relatives and colleagues.