Alan is from the small village of Portroe, by Lough Derg in County Tipperary.
The son of Tom and Nan Kelly, his father worked in the Ferenka factory in Limerick when it closed in the 1970s before becoming a road worker for the county council. His mother Nan is active in almost every community organisation in the parish.
Married to Regina O’Connor from Waterville, Co. Kerry. they havce two children, Aoibhe aged 5 and Senan aged 3.
He attended Nenagh CBS, before going on at 16 years of age to study English and History in UCC, including a masters in politics. He spent the summers working in a local meat factory to see his way through college. He gained an MBS in eCommerce in UCD and went on to become eBusiness manager in Failte Ireland.
Alan was elected on the first count to the Agriculture Panel to Seanad Eireann in July 2007 , the following September he was appointed Party Spokesperson on Tourism and Seanad Spokesperson on Finance and Local Government. A year later in July 2008 he was selected to contest the European Elections for Munster/Ireland South and he was elected to the European Parliament in 2009.
Two years later in February 2011 he was elected to the 31st Dail representing North Tipperary and was subsequently appointed Minister of State for Public & Commuter Transport - at the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport. In 2014 he was elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and shortly afterwards was appointed Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government
On February 26, 2016 Alan was elected to the 32nd Dail representing Tipperary.