I wish to add my voice to the tributes to life and service of Alan Gillis who died on Friday.
Alan was an outstandingly effective President of the Irish Farmers Association(IFA). His calm demeanour, and his experience working outside farming, enabled him to win understanding for the farmer’s case from a wider non farming audience that would have been achievable through previously methods.
He did not just speak to farmers, he spoke FOR farmers to the whole community.
I was delighted that, at the end of his IFA Presidential term , Alan was willing to put his name forward as a Fine Gael candidate for the 1994 European Parliament elections and was successful.
It was a pleasure to canvass for Alan Gillis. He always seemed cheerful and positive. He had a genuine interest in everyone he met on the canvass.
In the Parliament, he served on the Agricultural Committee where he was able to put his professional knowledge to goodeffect on behalf of the EU and Ireland.
In his personal life, he was a truly ecumenical Christian, whose service represented his deeply held values. He will be missed.