| Island Representatives to
Attend Gardens Opening for Joey Dunlop
TOURISM and Leisure Minister David Cretney and
TT radio commentator Peter Kneale will attend the opening of the Joey
Dunlop Memorial Garden in Joey's hometown of Ballymoney, Northern Ireland,
on Friday. Mr Cretney has been asked to plant a tree in the garden as a mark of
the strong links between the town and the Isle of Man, and has chosen a
Mountain Ash, as Joey is often referred to as the King of the
Joey died on July 2 last year at a road race in Estonia, just
weeks after completing a hat-trick of victories at the TT, taking his tally of
wins to 26.
The minister said: 'We have a strong bond with Northern
Ireland in terms of real road racing and I went out of my way to build upon the
goodwill between the two communities at that time. I am honoured to have been
asked on behalf of the people of the Isle of Man to once again play a part in
cementing these bonds.'
Mr Cretney read a lesson at Joey's funeral
service and along with Mr Kneale established a fund to assist the motorcycle
legend's widow, Linda, and their children.
A lap of honour around the
mountain circuit in Joey's memory was also organised during the Manx Grand Prix
last year, with around 6,000 bikes taking part, and there were plans for a
similar lap for this year's TT but it was cancelled along with the races.
Mr Cretney has also announced a number of other initiatives which will
He said: 'We also produced a special Joey Dunlop official
commemorative badge at that time and I am delighted to say we are producing a
new one which will be available soon. The proceeds of the badge will go to the
Joey Dunlop Injured Riders Fund (IoM), an organisation I have worked closely
'I am also delighted that the Isle of Man Post Office stamps have
been so successful after arranging for Dot Tilbury from the post office to meet
Linda and her family last year. Other initiatives currently being progressed
are a treasury coin issue for Joey, again with the proceeds aimed towards the
injured riders fund, and a lift to enable access for people with a disability
to the Grandstand, something I feel strongly about.'
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