Belfast Telegraph

Prince William to visit Joey Dunlop charity in TT trip

Isle of Man’s Joey Dunlop Foundation to host William

By Mark Bain

Staff at the Joey Dunlop Foundation says it will be "absolutely delighted" to welcome The Duke of Cambridge to their Isle of Man facility next week.

Kensington Palace confirmed yesterday that Prince William will be attending the TT races on Wednesday with a visit to the charity, which was set up in 2001 to help provide specialist accommodation for disabled visitors to the island, also on the agenda.

The duke will meet support staff and volunteers at the world-famous motorbike races before taking a seat in the TT Grandstand in the island's capital Douglas to watch the final stages of the Supersport race for 600cc machines.

He will then meet and greet staff and volunteers at the charity named in honour of road racing legend Joey.

The Joey Dunlop Holiday Home, in Braddan Bridge House overlooking the TT course, was formally opened on June 6, 2010 by Joey's widow Linda, who remains the Patron of the Foundation.

The latest additions of two extra apartments in 2017 were officially opened by Joey's son Gary and nephew William Dunlop as the work of the Foundation continues to develop.

Braddan Bridge House Manager Gilly Keown said: "This is a fantastic honour for everyone involved with the centre.

"We're all really excited that the Duke of Cambridge will be coming here to see what we've achieved."

Bruce Baker is a trustee for the Foundation and he said he was delighted that the royal visitor would undoubtedly give a greater profile to the work of the organisation.

He said:"We had a big year in 2017 when we added two new apartments, increasing the total number to five.

"But there's still plenty more work to be done.

"Every bit of recognition we get is welcome, and for the Duke of Cambridge to be coming to visit is a real boost for all the hard work and effort of so many people over the years. We're all delighted."

Ballymoney racing legend Joey holds a record 26 wins over the famous TT course, the last coming in 2000 just before his death while competing in Tallinn, Estonia later that year.

The Foundation was named in recognition of his fantastic achievements.

The Isle of Man TT Races, first held in 1907, are held annually on the Mountain Course, where competitors can often reach speeds of more than 200mph (322 kph).

It is one of the oldest continuous motorsport events in the world and now attracts almost 50,000 visitors to the island every year, many making the trip across the Irish Sea from Northern Ireland.

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