Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Ian Paisley pays Westminster tribute to 'gentleman' William Dunlop

Ian Paisley has paid tribute to the 'immensely talented' William Dunlop in the House of Commons.

The DUP MP for North Antrim has told his Westminster colleagues of the 32-year-old's successful career and also of the heartache suffered by the Dunlop family circle.

The remains of William Dunlop return to the family home in Gracehill, Ballymoney on July 10th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The remains of William Dunlop return to the family home in Gracehill, Ballymoney on July 10th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Raymond Campbell The remains of William Dunlop return to the family home in Gracehill, Ballymoney on July 10th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Victor Gibson - Pamela Anderson - The remains of William Dunlop return to the family home in Gracehill, Ballymoney on July 10th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The remains of William Dunlop return to the family home in Gracehill, Ballymoney on July 10th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Adam Carroll The remains of William Dunlop return to the family home in Gracehill, Ballymoney on July 10th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The remains of William Dunlop return to the family home in Gracehill, Ballymoney on July 10th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The remains of William Dunlop return to the family home in Gracehill, Ballymoney on July 10th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Daniel Dunlop The remains of William Dunlop return to the family home in Gracehill, Ballymoney on July 10th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The remains of William Dunlop return to the family home in Gracehill, Ballymoney on July 10th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The remains of William Dunlop return to the family home in Gracehill, Ballymoney on July 10th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The remains of William Dunlop return to the family home in Gracehill, Ballymoney on July 10th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The remains of William Dunlop return to the family home in Gracehill, Ballymoney on July 10th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The remains of William Dunlop return to the family home in Gracehill, Ballymoney on July 10th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The remains of William Dunlop return to the family home in Gracehill, Ballymoney on July 10th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The 32-year-old is understood to have been killed instantly while riding his Temple Golf Club Yamaha during practice for the Skerries 100 in Co Dublin on Saturday afternoon.

William's father Robert was killed following an accident in practice at the NW200 in 2008 while uncle Joey died after a crash in Estonia in 2000.

Ian Paisley said on Monday evening: "At the outset of my comments this evening, could I take a moment to pay tribute to the life of one of constituents Mr William Dunlop, who very sadly perished on Saturday in a motorcycle race?

"William Dunlop was an immensely talented athlete. He had won over 108 races during his short career as a motorcycle racer. He had achieved four podiums at the TT course on the Isle of Man and had won several races in various of Northern Ireland's most exciting road races.

"He hails from Ballymoney and from the Dunlop family, his uncle Joey was a world-renowned motorcycle racer and his father Robert perished a few years ago in front of his very eyes at a motorcycle race in the constituency of East Londonderry.

"William Dunlop was a gentleman. A young man, a young partner, a child on the way, another bouncing baby to enjoy and unfortunately he perished so tragically at the Skerries road race in North Dublin on Saturday evening.

"It puts into perspective the extinction at one side of motorcycle sport and the ecstacy at the other side. On the same weekend, another colleague of his from County Antrim, Jonny Rea, has now won effectively four World motorcycle championships; the single largest record that will probably never be achieved again.

"I want to take this moment to pay tribute to William Dunlop, to his family as constituents of mine for the great way in which they have handled this tragic set of circumstances. I hope members will take a moment to reflect on that in the days ahead as the funeral occurs in Northern Ireland."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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