Several thousand people have attended the removal of the remains of the late Shane Mcentee, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture.

The funeral cortege arrived at the Church of Saint John the Baptist in Nobber from Mr McEntee's home in nearby Castletown just before 7pm.

Local gardaí estimated that around two thousand people attended.

Parish Priest Father Seamus Houlihan said Shane died on the shortest day of the year, when the darkness had almost overcome the world.

He said God knew, because we did not, what darkness or what issues were working inside of him.

The principal mourners were Mr McEntee's wife Kathleen, children Aoife, Vincent, Helen and Sally, and mother Madge.

Former Taoiseach John Bruton and current Ministers James Reilly, Simon Coveney and Joan Burton were also among the mourners, as were TDs, Senators and MEPs from across the political spectrum, and friends from the GAA and the agricultureal community.

The Taoiseach, who visited the family home yesterday and will attend tomorrow's funeral, was represented by his Aide-de-camp Commandant Mick Treacy.

Mr McEntee's funeral takes place in Nobber at 11am tomorrow morning.