Joey Dunlop: Memorial to road racing legend vandalised in Tallinn
Last updated on .From the section Motorsport
A memorial dedicated to legendary motorcycle racer Joey Dunlop has been vandalised in Estonian capital Tallinn.
Dunlop, who is considered one of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time, died in 2000 when competing in Tallinn.
Tributes and memorabilia have gone missing from the site of his death.
"The memorial itself is untouched, but the personal things that make this a holy ground have been vandalised," said Allan Amelijusenko, organiser of the Joey Dunlop memorial ride.
"We contacted the police and hopefully we will find the person who done this. We might not find them but we are doing our best."
Just three weeks after securing a hat-trick of victories at the Isle of Man TT to take his tally to a record 26, Dunlop was killed at the age of 48 in an accident while racing in Tallinn on 2 July 2000.
As well as memorials in his native Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man, a tribute was set up at the site of the crash and fans often leave personal messages when visiting the Estonian capital.
Amelijusenko added he has met with local government officials to discuss how to make the memorial, which is protected under local law, more informative, accessible and secure in the future to protect Dunlop's legacy.
He added that while he is struggling to comprehend why someone would vandalise the memorial, he is hopeful that some of the items can be recovered.
"Everyone is pretty angry, devastated actually. Everyone is wondering why somebody would do this," he said.
"As we have deep snow in Estonia right now, those things might be under the snow close to that area so we are crossing our fingers and trying to keep the hope up that if the snow goes, we will have a search party around this place and find most of it, some of it or even find some clues.
"Some things there had some money value so things might turn up on the internet so we did an announcement, showed the pictures before and after, so if you see any of the stuff on the internet then please contact your community or let us know."