As IFA President, Alan Gillis (left) made presentations to those who took part in the NFA Protests of 1966, including Pat Farrelly of Trim.

Tributes to former farm leader and MEP, Alan Gillis

President of the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), Tim Cullinan has paid tribute to past IFA president, Alan Gillis, who died yesterday, describing him as a passionate and progressive voice for Irish farming.

Wicklow man Mr Gillis served as president of the farm organisation from 1990 to 1994, succeeding Carlanstown man Tom Clinton, who resigned in November 1989.

The IFA President said Alan Gillis’ approach was underpinned by decency and a commitment to represent fellow farmers at the highest level.

Tim Cullinan said Alan Gillis had been a determined leader for farmers during a period of significant change in the sector.

"The impact of trade deals under GATT, the forerunner to WTO, posed a serious threat to Irish agriculture and Alan Gillis led a strong campaign to safeguard farm incomes," he said.

Alan Gillis represented farmers at a number of levels, including as chairman of Leinster Milk Producers, which later became FMP. He went on to serve as an MEP for the Leinster constituency.

Tim Cullinan extended his sympathies to the Gillis family on behalf of IFA.

Seán Kelly MEP and leader of the Fine Gael group in the European Parliament expressed his deepest sympathies to the family of the late Alan Gillis.

"It is a great sadness for the Fine Gael family to learn of the passing of Alan Gillis, who served Ireland so well as an MEP and covered the very important policy area of Agriculture and Rural Development," he said.

"I always regarded him as one of the best ever presidents of the IFA", Mr Kelly added.

"On behalf of the Fine Gael delegation in the European Parliament, I send condolences to Alan's family and friends. It is rather poignant that Alan Gillis has passed away just ahead of Europe Day on May 9th, on which the EU celebrates its unity and integration for greater cooperation and peace. We will always remember Alan Gillis and his valuable contribution to public life as a committed European," added Mr Kelly.

Alan Leslie Gillis of Ballyhook House, Grangecon, Co Wicklow died peacefully at Craddock House Nursing Home, Naas.

Predeceased by his wife Irene and son Stephen, he is survived by his family, Nigel, Hazel, Barry and Anna, sons-in-law Leonard and Stuart, daughters-in-law Catherine and Wendy, grandchildren, great-grandchild, niece, nephews, extended family, relatives and friends.

Remains are reposing at Halligan’s Funeral Home, Station Road, Rathvilly (Eircode R93 C560), on Sunday evening from 3pm concluding with prayers at 7pm. Funeral on Monday in St Mary’s Church, Baltinglass at 11am, followed by interment in St John Baptist Churchyard, Stratford-on-Slaney. Donations in lieu of flowers, if desired, to St John Baptist Church, Stratford-on-Slaney. The service will be live-streamed on