20th anniversary of northern Irish motorcyclist Joey Dunlop's death marked

20 year anniversary of Joey Dunlop's untimely death.
20 year anniversary of Joey Dunlop's untimely death. Source: British Embassy Tallinn

July 2 marked the 20th anniversary of northern Irish motorcylist Joey Dunlop's death on the Pirita-Kose-Kloostrimetsa Circuit in Tallinn. A memorial which included a speech by United Kingdom ambassador Theresa Bubbear was held last Thursday, to commemorate the former World Grand Prix champion.

Dunlop, 48, from Ballymoney, died in Tallinn on July 2 2000, while participating in a 125cc motorcycle race after having finished first in the 750cc and 600cc categories earlier in the day. Dunlop lost control of his bike in the wet conditions, and was killed instantly on impact with trees.

Dunlop is considered one of the greatest bike racers of all time, collecting countless victories and championships over his 24-year career, including winning the Ulster Grand Prix 24 times and winning the World Grand Prix in 1985, in the 250cc category.

After his death, the Estonian government's official website was replaced with a tribute to Dunlop and memorial events are still held yearly. His body was taken back to Northern Ireland where he was buried at Garryduff Presbyterian graveyard.

At the memorial service on July 2, British ambassador Theresa Bubbear held a speech and laid a wreath on Dunlop's memorial plaque.

Bubbear said in her speech: "Joey Dunlop was a member of a great sporting family.  He did not want to be remembered as the superstar that he undoubtedly was, but for 'being himself'.  So let's remember him as a very great man and be grateful for his life.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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