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Radio 5 Live's Nick Harris
"He was the great"
 real 28k

BBC NI's Annita McVeigh reports from Ballymoney
"A book of condolence will be opened at town hall"
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Sunday, 2 July, 2000, 20:00 GMT 21:00 UK
Death of road racing hero
Joey Dunlop
Joey Dunlop pictured at the Isle of Man TT race
Five-times Formula One motorcycle racing champion Joey Dunlop has been killed in a road race in the former Soviet republic of Estonia.

The 48-year-old from Northern Ireland - who won a record 26 times at the Isle of Man TT - was killed in a crash on a 6.2-mile circuit in the Estonian capital, Tallinn.

A spokesman for the event said the rider had gone off the road on a corner and crashed into a tree, dying instantly.

Joey was a brilliant sportsman and a true man of the people

David Trimble and Seamus Mallon
The Province was in mourning on Sunday for one of its sporting heroes, who was awarded the MBE for his motorcycling achievements and the OBE for his charity work.

Mr Dunlop had been awarded the freedom of his home town of Ballymoney, County Antrim just two weeks ago.

"His skill on a motorbike we will never see the like of again," said his manager Davy Wood.

"I will remember his individuality and determination. He never was the superstar that drove a fast car or anything like that. His wife and family mattered most to him."

As well as being a world renowned sportsman, Mr Dunlop was also well known for his charity work in Romania and the Balkans.

David Trimble
David Trimble: Saddened by the news
Northern Ireland's First Minister David Trimble and Deputy First Minister Seamus Mallon spoke of their sadness at the news.

In a statement they said: "We were shocked and saddened on hearing the news that Northern Ireland's premier motor cycle ace, Joey Dunlop OBE, MBE was killed this afternoon while racing in Estonia.

"Everyone in Northern Ireland, not just fans of motor sport, has followed Joey's glittering career with tremendous pride and satisfaction.

"In particular, his recent string of successes in the Isle of Man TT gave us all something to be proud of.

"Five times world champion, Joey was a brilliant sportsman, a true man of the people and a wonderful ambassador for Northern Ireland.

"It will be hard to find his like again. We send our deepest condolences to his grieving wife Linda, his children, brother Robert and other members of his grieving family circle."

Mr Dunlop leaves five children, Julie, Donna, Gary, Richard and Joanne.

'Shocked and saddened'

Michael McGimpsey, Northern Ireland Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure, has also spoken of his shock on hearing news of the tragedy.

He said: "I am shocked and saddened to hear of the untimely death of this great Ulsterman who I was talking to only two weeks ago.

"I do not have full details of the circumstances but my thoughts are with his wife Linda and his family and my prayers go to them."

Mr Dunlop started racing in 1969 and won 26 Isle of Man TT races, the first coming in 1977.

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See also:

02 Jul 00 | Northern Ireland
Tributes to 'king of the road'
15 Jun 00 | Northern Ireland
Road racer honoured
31 May 00 | Northern Ireland
Motocyclist dies in island race
03 Jun 00 | Northern Ireland
Dunlop wins TT race
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