Northern Ireland news

Foundation to help bereaved children in honour of William Dunlop

Janine Brolly, the partner of William Dunlop, and his mother Louise at the Cornmarket Motorbike Awards in Belfast. Picture by Stephen Davison/ Pacemaker

A FOUNDATION to help children bereaved by the loss of a parent is to be established in honour of road racer William Dunlop.

His heartbroken partner Janine Brolly revealed the plans as Mr Dunlop was posthumously inducted into the Irish Motorcycling Hall of Fame.

Accepting the award, Ms Brolly - mother of two children with the motorcycle rider - said he had left a "tremendous" legacy.

Mr Dunlop (32) was killed last July at the Skerries 100 road races in Co Dublin.

The son of the late road racing star Robert Dunlop and nephew of Joey, William was making his return to the sport after pulling out of the Isle of Man TT to be with his partner during her pregnancy.

Tragedy struck during the practice sessions of the competition.

In September, Ms Brolly gave birth to the couple's second daughter, Willa, a younger sister to their two-year-old daughter Ella.

Speaking at the annual Cornmarket Motorcycle Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belfast, Ms Brolly said it was a "real honour" to attend the event.

"The legacy that William has left as a sportsperson and the way that he is thought of is due to the person behind the visor," she said.

"He was so special and he is missed so much and the legacy he has left is tremendous. I now have the privilege of raising his two greatest legacies."

Ms Brolly said her partner's "number one priority and his number one life goal was to be a father", but his death meant their children are now "missing out on a life with him".

"And unfortunately there is a lot of children who also are unfortunately in that position and maybe don't have the motorcycle community to support them," she said.

"Hence, the foundation idea was born.

"Its main basis will be the support of children who have suffered the bereavement of a parent and hand-in-hand with that will be the support of the partner left behind, when their life has essentially been ripped from below them."

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