Belfast Telegraph

William Dunlop: Skerries road races to go ahead 'at request of family' after tragic death

Prize fund for the event will be given to Dunlop’s family

The Skerries 100 motorcycle road races are set to go ahead as planned at the request of the Dunlop family, race organisers and gardai have said.

Tragedy struck the family for a third time on Saturday afternoon when William Dunlop was killed in a practice run at the event in Co Dublin.

The son of the late Robert and nephew of the legendary Joey, William was making his return to the sport after pulling out of this year's Isle of Man TT to be with his pregnant partner, who is expecting their second child.

He suffered fatal injuries in an incident during open practice on Saturday shortly after 5pm. Dunlop was racing on his Temple Golf Club Yamaha. The crash is understood to have happened at the Sam's Tunnel section of the course.

The 32-year-old was a winner at both the North West 200 and the Ulster GP.

On Sunday morning, gardai said: "The annual Skerries 100 motorcycle road races will go ahead today as planned at the request of the Dunlop family."

Following consultation with the riders, it was also agreed the overall prize fund for the meeting would be given to William’s family.

On Saturday, a statement on behalf of the Skerries 100 organisers read: "The Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club, organisers of the Skerries 100, deeply regrets to announce that competitor William Dunlop of Ballymoney, Co. Antrim, has passed away following injuries received in a tragic accident that occurred during practice which took place today 7th July 2018.

"The Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club extends their heartfelt sympathy to William Dunlop's family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very sad time."

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.

Tributes have flowed in for the much-loved racer and brother of Michael, who was also competing at the County Dublin event.

The Armoy Motorcycle Road Racing Club said: "The Armoy Motorcycle Road Racing Club are beyond devastated to learn of the death of our club member and local road racing legend William Dunlop, after he was involved in an incident in today's practice sessions at the Skerries 100.

"Our deepest sympathies go to his partner Janine and daughter Ella, mother Louise, brother Michael and Daniel, Granny May, the Dunlop family, William's friends, team and wider circle.

"Such a lovely fella on & off the bike. He will be missed so much by us all."

A man whose quiet charm and fierce determination will never be forgotten in the paddock. Ulster Grand Prix

Dundrod & District Motorcycle club said:  "As a sport, road racing is like no other. It can bring the highest of highs, but it can also sometimes be incredibly cruel.

"From all at the Dundrod & District Motorcycle club our thoughts are with the friends, family and many fans of William Dunlop, who sadly lost his life at the Skerries 100 today."

North West 200 organisers said they were "absolutely devastated to learn of the death of William Dunlop in an incident today at the Skerries 100."

"Our sincere sympathies are with his partner Jeanine, his daughter, brothers, mother and extended family."

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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