Tributes have been paid to the late Shane McEntee at a meeting of Meath County Council.

The former minister of State died by suicide at his home in Nobber just before Christmas.

His former director of elections Cllr John V Farrelly said Mr McEntee had only ever wanted to serve and he did so with the same passion he brought to training the football teams he had been in charge of.

Cllr Farrelly said there was a new low level of debate entering Irish politics, where it is very easy to call people names while they were trying to do their job as best as could be done.

If anything could come from the death of his friend, he said he hoped it would be that all people would be treated with respect.

Fianna Fáil councillor Shane Cassells, who fought a by-election against Mr McEntee in 2005, said they got on very well during the entire campaign.

He said he knew Mr McEntee well and always had great respect for him.

Independent Cllr Brian Fitzgerald said his death was a great loss to all.

On his appointment as minister, Mr McEntee had pledged to do the best he could for everyone and especially his beloved Meath.

He had always tried to deliver on that promise, he added.

Several other councillors and officials also spoke in tribute to the late minister.