Shane McEntee

I don’t know if Shane McEntee is the first Irish government minister to take his own life, but I do believe he is the most prominent victim of the savage austerity programme inflicted on the Irish people.

For reasons nobody will ever know, the junior agriculture minister felt it was no longer possible to continue living, but the facts seem to suggest that he was unable to cope with public criticism in the aftermath of the recent savage budget.

From what I’ve heard of Shane McEntee, and from speaking to people who knew him personally, he seems to have been a thoroughly decent individual.  A spear carrier, admittedly, rather than the leading  actor, but a solid man with a good heart.

shane mcentee

Enda Kenny is reported to be shocked by the loss and I believe he probably is.  For all his weaknesses, Kenny is not cast in the same mould as some who have gone before him and even though I constantly lampoon him in these pages, I don’t believe he’s either corrupt or cynical, unlike some of his colleagues.

Could it be that this appalling loss might finally bring home to our government the reality of their policies?   Perhaps they might finally realise it’s not a game of numbers, but a deadly-serious process in which people live and die by the decisions of Enda Kenny’s cabinet.

As I said, I don’t know anything about Shane McEntee apart from the fact that he leaves a wife and children, and that he was known to be a kind-hearted man.

It’s very hard to escape the comparison between this genuine man who suffered mental anguish and those politicians before him who created the problem and who showed not the slightest concern for the harm they caused.

There’s no point in platitudes.  Shane McEntee’s family will suffer their loss forever.  A husband and a father has been lost and can never be replaced, but perhaps in his final moments, he might have salvaged something from the tragedy if it causes Enda Kenny, Michael Noonan and the rest of them to reflect on the real, tangible consequences of the actions they are taking in order to placate international financiers.

Maybe it’s time we got back to real, human values, as they did in Iceland, and put our people’s welfare ahead of  demands laid down by the ECB.  Here in Ireland, we love to talk about our sense of community.  It’s what we base the so-called Gathering on, so maybe it’s time we acted on it instead of reciting empty formulas all the time.

32 thoughts on “Shane McEntee

  1. Ah jaysus Bock. I usually agree with a lot of what you write, but come on!! Do you really think his “job” is the reason why a good man like Shane mcentee might do this?! Do you not think it might be a bit more personal than a tenner off children’s allowance? I am sure like most people who suffer from depression it is not “one” thing and I am annoyed you have connected this with his work colleagues also. I think that is unfair.

  2. His office was right here in Duleek, where I live. The secretaries who work there have helped my father and I out many times with a smile. I wonder what’s going to happen next to it, this is really sad news.

  3. From the Independent today:
    “Tony was buried here about a year-and-a-half ago. It was like a state funeral, the Taoiseach was here, all the government ministers, It must have been hundreds of people that turned out if not thousands,” he said.

    “This funeral is going to be even bigger because you have politicians, the farming community, people from the medical profession and the GAA.”

    I think that last sentence pretty much sums up Ireland’s Zeitgeist at the moment–the mawkish fascination that the Irish have with fame, death and funerals. People need support, encouragement and a kind word when they’re alive; not when they are dead. Sadly a large number of the people who turn out to high-profile funerals simply go there to be seen;it’s a day out. Politicians understand this; for them hypocrisy is a way of life.
    No doubt Shane McEntee was a decent man and will be terribly missed by his family; their hearts must be broken. I am going to raise a glass this Christmas to the living; those who toil and struggle thanklessly, those who are unseen; those who live in the doorways of our highstreets; those who mutter to themselves as they scavenge bins and those who never get ahead and get knocked back repeatedly in their lives. I salute them; they live unseen and unfeted lives; they will not have the great and good laud their achievements but they will make a difference in their own small and unassuming way.

  4. I don’t think it’s either fair or useful to use this man’s tragic passing as a reason to berate the government. Not they don’t need berating and questioning, but this is a bit much, the man’s not even cold and you have to put it in writing that it’s the government’s fault? For Christ’s sake, you know f*ck all about him or what happened for a start.

    And yes they are the Government of Ireland, and yes they were his work colleagues also. Why on earth would you say otherwise? RIP.

  5. We can but hope your wish for Enda and Ireland will be granted but I fear there really is no wish-granting tooth-fairy due any time soon.
    As for that so-called gathering. I think maybe when they get the right to vote from out there in their many ports of exile, maybe then they’ll get the chance to look back differently.

  6. “The Gathering”—utter utter shite. I saw some literature that someone wants to re-enact the 1798 French landing in Mayo–so you invite people to return to Ireland to watch a bunch of sweaty hairy men in ridiculous garb run around panting on misty hillsides in Mayo celebrating another glorious defeat at the hands of the British. They would be better off spending their money in Rio during the carnival or somewhere that celebrates life and fun and hope……

  7. I have absolutely no idea who bock the robber is – it just came up in google.
    But as someone close to the situation I would hope that Shane’s death awakens the govt up to the problem of suicide in this country.

  8. Maybe this sad event will give a message to Kenny, Noonan and the plebs from Democratic left aka The Labour Party

  9. Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and abuse me.” But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it. (Chronicles 10/4)

    According to the Indo, “abuse” from the victims of the budget are to blame for McEntee’s decision! FG and Labour think nothing of sticking the sword in the poor, the sick, the unemployed, the working… Maybe Enda might also find the courage? Maybe Eamon might also do the decent thing?

  10. When a man’s true values are dictated to by a higher authority there are few options open to him. This man (Shane McEntee) seems to have been too pure for politics

  11. Looks like the the anonymous abuse which seems to have been a factor in Shane’s passing is alive and well thoughout this thread.

  12. Bock,

    fair play for saying what you think, and not mouthing the usual platitudes. I agree with you, he is the first victim of this savage budget, and unfortunately he won’t be the last. You have more faith in Kenny, Noonan et al than I do, they may be shaken at the moment, and may indeed reflect on what caused him to take his life, but don’t worry they will soon be back to what they do best, blaming others rather than taking responsibility for their actions.

    You already see this with the luminaries likes of Frank Feighan blaming people expressing their displeasure at the price that society has to pay just so Noonan and Kenny can keep Merkel and Draghi happy. A classic case of shoot the messenger, or in this case the medium.

    Oh, and Lochgorman, I see no abuse, anonymous or otherwise, of Shane McEntee on this thread.

  13. Why all the hullabalo about Shane McEntee ? His is no more, nor indeed no less, a tragedy than others who take their own lives and who go unnoticed, despite the same grief occasioned to their families.

  14. Flinty,

    Your comment is crass, vulgar and deeply offensive. It reminds me of Ahern and his ill advised remarks about the people who were (accurately) commenting on the bubble economy.
    Whether you agree with someone’s politics or not, encouraging self harm is irresponsible and downright ignorant. If you have any decency you should withdraw that remark.

  15. Bully4u..

    Beautiful words,,” When a man’s true values are dictated to by a higher authority there are few options open to him. This man (Shane McEntee) seems to have been too pure for politics ” the rest of you should go for a pint and leave things alone for a bit!

  16. You have no idea why this man took his life and your presumption is both a serious insult to his memory and a distraction from his loss to his family and friends. How dare you pontificate with an opportunististc polemical point on this tragedy!

  17. Bock,

    No, But I wonder is it preferable to leave these personal tragedies, whether of public figures or of private individuals, to the private grief of the victims’ families.

  18. Im shocked and saddened by this news. Mr. Mc.Entee gave me and my late Mother assistance when no-one else would when she was sick. He was a good person and one of the only politicians i liked.

    My sincere condolonces go out to Mr Mc Entee’s family and friends. R.I.P.

  19. thanks for writing such a sensitive article.. I just watched the funeral on RTE, was saddened…let it be a wake up call for Ireland..

  20. Considering he was a politician and a close friend of the Taoiseach are people sure it was suicide? Was there a suicide note? If yes, then well that pretty much confirms it. If not, then how did he die and is it possible it was made to look like a suicide? Anything is possible. Seemed like a really kind man. Thanks

  21. May He Rest in peace, he obviously suffered from depression, and this could be caused by a inward conflict of conscience. He was elected on a mandate and because of Fine Gael change of direction after the landslide election results, he was made out to be a liar and a hypocrite by the non elected govt employed party spin doctors of Fine Gael and Labour. His death and his blood is on Mr Kenny and Mr Gilmore, they caused his death by the lies and descriptions they did on the Irish people.

  22. Every day we hear an unidentified source quoted in the media. Be those individuals informants from the underworld, citizens who are very concerned about something the know / believe to be true or civil servants who see issues they know need to be highlighted.
    Before the budget we read that unidentified “government sources” confirmed cuts of €10 to the childrens allowance and the percentage of the property tax. Those sources could only have been sitting TD’s but they did not allow themselves be named and the press protected their identities.
    One the other side of the coin we have recently seen (and many times in the past also) TD’s using Dáil privilege to name individuals they believe have been guilty of crimes / misdemeanors without fear of being sued even if they are wrong.
    RIP Mr. McEntee but lets not allow the government use this as an opportunity to become a controlling influence on the press. One only has to look at how Russia is in a state close to dictatorship at this moment in time. One of the reasons Mr. Putin is in power is the influence and power he exerts on the media.

  23. If the tone of his brother’s comments re. cowardly criticism is an indicator of how Enda & Co. are thinking, you’d be concerned that the bunker mentality displayed by the government on a regular basis would be reinforced.

  24. While there has been no formal announcement that his suicide was a result of depression, I don’t feel it’s beyond the bounds of reality to assume it was, and given the stigma still attached to mental illness in this country it would hardly be surprising that no such announcement would be made.
    It saddens me however that instead of using this tradgic event to highlight what is a serious and widespread problem in this country, the government decided to use it as a way of silencing dissent. Knowing that even a government minister can suffer from depression, to the point of suicide, might have raised consciousness on this issue alot.

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