Belfast Telegraph

‘Real character’ of bike racing dies in 100mph Killalane smash

A Co Antrim motorcyclist has died following a crash at the Killalane Road Races near Dublin.

Father-of-three Victor Gilmore from Ballymoney — the home town of tragic legends of the sport, brothers Joey and Robert Dunlop — was killed and a marshal was injured in the collision which happened at about 1.20pm yesterday.

In September 2006, Dundrod racer Darran Lindsay was killed on the same circuit.

The hugely experienced rider had been competing all over the UK, Ireland and Europe since 1996, including the Isle of Man TT, North West 200 and the Horice race in Slovakia.

He had already completed two races yesterday and, following the 250cc and the Open classes, Mr Gilmore’s bike crashed off the course at over 100mph in the 600cc category.

He was taken to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, where he later passed away.

He is survived by two children from his first marriage and a baby girl born earlier this year to his current partner.

In a tragic twist, the inquest into the death of an elderly man, who was struck by Mr Gilmore’s bike in a freak accident at the Armoy road races last year, was due to open this week.

Hill McCook was watching the closing race in August 2010 when Mr Gilmore’s bike veered out of control, hitting a tree before striking the 75-year-old great grandfather.

The Northern Ireland coroner was due to issue his findings on Mr McCook’s death in the coming days.

Mayor of Ballymoney Bill Kennedy, who is clerk of the course for the Armoy road races, and chairman of Armoy Motorcycle Club, paid his respects to Mr Gilmore last night.

Mr Kennedy’s late brother Frank was part of the famed ‘Armoy Armada’ group of racers, which included Joey Dunlop.

“It’s unreal,” he said. “Victor was part of the furniture in the paddocks for nearly 15 years.

”It can be a cruel sport and there is a high price to pay, but everyone has to make choices, it is something those boys love and getting on those bikes and racing is their world.

“My heart goes out to all his family and friends.”

Motorcycling photographer Stephen Davison said Mr Gilmore was “one of the real characters of the paddocks” and said he would be sadly missed.

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