Fine Gael stalwart and former MEP Alan Gillis dies

Gillis also served as IFA president and chairman of Leinster Milk Producers

Alan Gillis is described as a determined and considerate representative, both at home and abroad

Alan Gillis, a Fine Gael stalwart and former MEP for Leinster, died on Friday.

Mr Gillis was elected as an MEP for Fine Gael in the Leinster constituency in 1994.

During his career, he served on the European Parliament’s committee on agriculture and rural development.

Before his political career, he was president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) from 1990-1994. He also served as chairman of Leinster Milk Producers, which later became FMP.

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Tánaiste and leader of Fine Gael, Leo Varadkar, expressed his condolences. He said: “It was with deep sadness that I learned of the passing of Alan Gillis, he was a real gentleman and liked by all who met him.”

Mr Varadkar said Mr Gillis was a determined and considerate representative, both at home and abroad.

IFA presidentTim Cullinan also paid tribute to Mr Gillis, describing him as a passionate and progressive voice for Irish farming.

The late politician’s approach was underpinned by decency and a commitment to represent fellow farmers at the highest level, Mr Cullinan said.

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

Mr Gillis was predeceased by his wife, Irene, and son Stephen. He will be mourned by his children Nigel, Hazel, Barry and Anna, along with extended family and friends, at his funeral service, which is due to take place on Monday at 11am in St Mary’s Church in Baltinglass, Co Wicklow.