Newly elected TD Helen McEntee has defended her comments made during her election campaign that her father Shane did not intend to kill himself and that he did not suffer from depression.
Speaking during a radio interview with Aine Lawlor on the Marian Finucane show on RTE, Ms McEntee who secured the seat in the Meath East by-election in April, said she never meant to cause offence to people with depression, but that it was her strong view her father wasn’t depressed.
“We can’t change what happened, we could not have foreseen what happened. I would like to see supports for TDs, because it is a tough job,” she said.
“Because he didn’t [mean to do it] and that’s the fact of the matter. But if my dad had depression, not one person in our family knew it,” she said. “This came on very quickly. I can’t explain what happened, but anyone who met my dad [could see] he was a fun happy person. This is the first time this came across our door and I certainly don’t mean any disrespect to anyone with depression.”
In an interview with the Sunday Independent during the campaign, Ms McEntee, said her father didn’t intend to kill himself and that he did not suffer from depression.
Ms McEntee said: “Well I just want to make it clear for the record, my dad never suffered from depression, and that is something I want to make clear. We are obviously in this situation because of what happened.”
She said in the Sunday Independent interview that while she was not an expert in suicide, she was strongly of the opinion that her father who died at the age of just 56, did not mean to take his own life.
“He never suffered from depression, and you know, I am not an expert in suicide, and I am not going to pretend to be. I don’t think it was something he intended to do, that’s my opinion. And I am not going to change my opinion.”