1926 - 23 Dec 2013. After graduating in medicine from UCC in 1952, he joined his father’s Farranfore based general medical practice. While in college, he had been very active in the UCC musical and choral societies and had won the tenor solo at the Feis Maitiu. His love of music and obvious musical prowess were widely acknowledged so it wasn’t very long after his return to Kerry before he was drawn into the epicentre of local musical activities in both Tralee and Killarney. Dr Shanahan's father died at the age of just 58, a year after his son joined him in his practice. However his rich legacy was to give his son "an insight into the workings of the mind of a country GP".
He also instilled in his son the importance of recordkeeping and while today patient records are kept on computer, in Dr Shanahan's father's day they were all retained in the GP's head. He was appointed musical director of Killarney Musical Society and Killarney Gilbert and Sullivan Society in 1952. Dr Shanahan’s extra-curricular activities did not cease altogether, however. He managed to find time to be chairman of Kerry Airport and chairman of the Irish College of General Practitioners.