William Dunlop to be inducted into the Irish Motorcycling Hall of Fame

The award will be presented to his mother Louise and his partner Janine at a ceremony in Belfast later this month

WILLIAM DUNLOP is to be inducted into the Irish Motorcycling Hall of Fame, six months after he died in a crash during practice at the Skerries 100.

The posthumous honour will be presented to Dunlop's mother Louise and his partner Janine at the sport's annual awards ceremony in Belfast on 18 January.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Louise said: "We are still in complete shock after the tragic incident last summer but any award the Dunlop family has ever received has been very special.”

"With this award it's just lovely to know the Dunlop name is still a force to be reckoned with, but it will be an emotional evening."

Dunlop, 32, will join his father Robert and uncle Joey in the Hall of Fame, both of whom also lost their lives while competing. Also among the inductees are former world champion Brian Reid, Moto GP rider Jeremy McWilliams, road racing stars Phillip McCallen, Steve Cull, Johnny Rea, Eddie Laycock and Alan Irwin, plus motocross champion Gordon Crockard.

Dunlop was a member of Northern Ireland’s premier road racing family, and had an illustrious career spanning 18 years since he starting racing in 2000 at the age of 15. During this time he accumulated 108 Irish National Road Race wins and also achieved North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix victories.

He died on July 8, 2018, as a result of a crash during practice at the 2018 Skerries 100 Road Races in County Dublin.

Dunlop’s mother added that the family have been "overwhelmed by the amount of love and kindness we have received" since his accident.

"It truly has been remarkable. William was loved by everyone, and we are so proud of his achievements, as we are of all my boys."

Other awards will be presented during the event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belfast, including the prestigious Irish motorcyclist of the year honour. Triple World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea has won the title for three years in a row, and currently heads this year’s 10-man shortlist.

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