Dunlop is third road racer to get freedom award

Michael Dunlop
Michael Dunlop

Ulster road racing star Michael Dunlop is set to follow in the footsteps of his uncle Joey and father Robert by becoming a Freeman of Ballymoney.

At a special meeting this week Ballymoney Borough Council agreed to confer the Freedom of Ballymoney on the seven-time Isle of Man TT winner, with a motion passed unanimously.

At only 24, Dunlop will become the youngest person ever to receive the honour in the Co Antrim town and is only the fifth recipient of the privilege.

In June he dominated at the TT, winning four races in a week and claiming a coveted Superbike victory on the Honda TT Legends Fireblade before finishing as the runner-up in the Senior event.

Lord Bannside is also a Freeman of Ballymoney.

The motion – read by Alderman Bill Kennedy, whose brother Frank was a member of the fabled Armoy Armada – proposed: “That the Freedom of the Borough be conferred on Mr Michael Dunlop in recognition of the great honour brought to the borough through his exceptional skill, ability and determination in achieving success as an international motorcycling road racer, and winning numerous Irish and Ulster Championships including seven Isle of Man TT wins, with four victories in one week in 2013.”

Dunlop created one of the defining moments in the history of the North West 200 when he won the 250cc race in 2008, less than 48 hours after Robert was tragically killed in an accident during practice.

He has since gone on to establish himself at the pinnacle of the sport and has the ability to reign at the top for many years to come.