TT star Michal Dunlop to become Freeman of his hometown

Published
image captionMichael Dunlop won four of the five Isle of Man TT races he entered in June
image captionThe four wins took his TT tally to seven at the Isle of Man event
image captionHe claimed his first Superbike victory on his Honda Fireblade in the six-lap Superbike event
image captionThe Ballymoney rider is from a long line of Isle of Man TT riders
image captionDunlop will become only the fifth person to receive the Freedom of Ballymoney

Seven-time Isle of Man TT winner Michael Dunlop is to become a Freeman of his hometown of Ballymoney in Northern Ireland.

The racer will follow in the footsteps of his father Robert, who won five TT races and his uncle Joey who is the most successful rider in TT history.

A spokeswoman for Ballymoney Borough Council said the motion was "unanimously" passed.

The 24-year-old will become the youngest ever recipient of the honour.

Mr Dunlop said: "I am very proud. Only four people have received this honour and two of those are my family. I am made up to be the fifth.

"It is not every day you receive something like this and it means a lot to have my achievements recognised."

'Skill, ability and determination'

The motion tables by Alderman Bill Kennedy asked 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."

The spokeswoman said the council are now liaising with the racer over a suitable date for the ceremony, but that is should be held in 2014.

In June, the Honda TT Legends rider dominated the Isle of Man event, winning four races in a week. He only missed out on a clean sweep after finishing runner-up to John McGuinness in the Senior race.

In 2008, at the age of 19, Dunlop won the 250cc race at the North West 200 in Northern Ireland, less than 48 hours after his father Robert lost his life is an accident during practice.

His uncle Joey Dunlop was a five-time Formula One motorcycle racing champion, who won a record 26 TT races. He was killed in a road race in Estonia in 2000.

His brother William is also a racer.

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