Belfast Telegraph

Home Life Just Born

Joey Dunlop's grandchild Ruby a beautiful anniversary gift

By Chris Kilpatrick

Her legendary grandfather, the late, great Joey Dunlop, was renowned for his perfect timing.

And it seems the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree as far as his little granddaughter is concerned.

The latest addition to Northern Ireland’s ‘first family’ of motorbike racing made a dramatic entrance to the world at the weekend.

Baby Ruby Grace McLean arrived on her due date, which coincided with what would have been the 40th anniversary of King of the Road Joey’s marriage to wife Linda.

For that reason, mum Donna and husband Simon McLean thought it fitting to call the tot Ruby.

Since Joey's death at 48 while racing in Estonia in 2000, the wedding anniversary has been an emotional date for the Dunlop family, but on Saturday, as well as thoughts of the legendary motorbike racer, there was joy at the birth of little Ruby Grace.

Ruby is the third of the couple’s children after Harvey and Kayley.

She roared into the world weighing 8lbs 7oz at the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine.

Proud gran Linda said she was over the Moon with the latest addition to the family and her seventh grandchild.

“We were told she would be born on the anniversary but you never know, so we were delighted when she was,” said Linda.

“We didn’t know whether it would be a wee boy or a wee girl, but when it turned out to be a girl, Donna said they were calling her Ruby, which was lovely.”

As messages of goodwill came in for the new arrival to the family, Donna posted a message on Facebook saying she hopes Ruby Grace is as happy in life as her mum and dad were in their marriage.

She said: “Simon and I would like to thank you all for your kind messages and comments.

“As you all know we have been blessed with a gorgeous baby girl who decided to make an appearance on a very special day (mummy and daddy's 40th wedding anniversary).”

Racing legend Joey was a world champion rider who won at the Isle of Man TT 26 times.

Belfast Telegraph


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