I greatly regretted that I could not attend Alan Gillis’ funeral. When I first got to know him, he was deeply involved in Kildare IFA. At that stage, he farmed just down the road in Kilteel, near Kill. He was not born into farming and attended the college of technology in Bolton Street. His uncle had a mainly sheep farm in Tallaght and that brought him into contact with farming.

With income from conacre work and metal fabrication, he bought the farm at Kiteel on the Kildare-Wicklow border in 1962 and went into dairying, supplying the Dublin liquid milk market which involved calving cows all year round.