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Tuesday, 23 April, 2002, 14:37 GMT 15:37 UK
Dunlop statue unveiled
Joey Dunlop's wife Linda is said to delighted with the bronze statue
Joey Dunlop's wife Linda pictured at the ceremony
Hundreds of people turned out in Ballymoney on Tuesday to see the unveiling of a statue of the late motorcycling legend Joey Dunlop.

The bronze statue was sculpted by Isle of Man artist Amanda Barton after being commissioned by the rider's team Honda and Ballymoney Council.

She used more than half a tonne of bronze in the piece and her work has met with the approval of Joey's wife Linda and the rest of the Dunlop family.

Mrs Dunlop attended Tuesday's ceremony as did the rider's parents May and William.

26 TT wins

"I'm delighted to know that the family are happy with the sculpture," said Miss Barton.

"It was quite a difficult procedure as there was a lot of technical work needed," she added.

Joey's son Gary said the Dunlop family were "as happy as can be" with the sculpture.

The late rider's father William said it was a "very important day" for the family while Mrs May Dunlop said she was delighted by the large turnout of friends and fans.

He was a very special man
Isle of Man Tourism Minister David Cretney

Bob McMillen, the former general manager of Honda UK, described the motorcyclist as "unique".

"He was an inspiration as a man, as a character and as a father".

Joey Dunlop won a record 26 events at the Isle of Man TT and the Island's tourism minister David Cretney was among those who attended Tuesday's ceremony.

"As well as his incredible record, we also remember him for his humanitarian exploits for underprivileged children in Eastern Europe.

"He was a very special man," added Mr Cretney.

Joey Dunlop was killed in July 2000 while competing at a meeting in Estonia.

BBC's Shane Glynn
"Joey's parents May and William were present"
BBC NI's Paddy O'Flaherty
"Honda honoured their longest-serving rider"
See also:

17 Dec 01 |  Northern Ireland
Dunlop's nephew to race at North-West
28 Jun 01 |  Northern Ireland
Dunlop tribute in Estonia
02 Jul 00 |  Northern Ireland
Death of road racing hero
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