Mary Dunlop

Mary, mother of motor bike racing stars Joey and Robert, brought up her three sons at an area called the Leck Road, just 4 miles outside of Ballymoney. She recalled that at a young age the boys, wearing no helmets, rode as pillion passengers with their father on his Norton bike. Both Joey and Robert had a mechanical interest with Joey building his own bike in the attic of the house. She said Joey was quiet with Robert more outgoing although she added that Joey would talk to you if he was in the mood.

Joey was voted the fifth greatest motorcycling icon ever by Motorcycle News and his achievements included three hat-tricks at the Isle of Man TT meetings in 1985, 1988 and 2000. In total he won 26 races at the Isle of Man TT. He won the Ulster Grand Prix 24 times and in1986 he won a fifth consecutive TT Formula One world title. Mary said that Joey was a bit superstitious – he always wore a red T shirt, yellow crash helmet and he didn't like number 13. She recalled that the brothers were friendly rivals, used bits of each other's bikes to help out, but that it was everyone for themselves on the track.

Robert, the younger brother, made his road racing debut at the1979 Temple 100, then the Cookstown 100 with his first professional race taking place at Aghadowey in 1981. He was successful at the North West 200 and his most successful year was 1987 when he was awarded the 'Man of the Meeting' at the Cookstown event. He had 5 Isle of Man TT wins, the first being the 1983 Newcomers 350cc Manx Grand Prix, but in 1994 he suffered a major accident participating in the Isle of Man Formula One TT. Mary said that it was a miracle he wasn't killed.

Both Joey and Robert worked tirelessly for charity and indeed Joey stated that his proudest award was his OBE for charity work. Mary hasn't been to a race since Joey was killed but she still feels pride in their names being mentioned. Regarding the memorial in Ballymoney she commented that it was great to see and a great honour.

  • Name
  • Joey Dunlop
  • Sport
  • Motor Cycling
  • Main Achievements
  • Formula One World Championship Titles 5
  • Isle of Man TT Titles 26 wins
  • North West 200 Titles 13 wins
  • Ulster Grand Prix wins 24 wins
  • Southern 100 (I.O.M) 31 wins
  • Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Race 11 wins
  • Irish National Road Races 117 wins*
    * Includes Temple 100 (5); Mid- Antrim 150 (15); Killalane (6); Kells (2); Carrowdore 100 (8); Skerries (17); Killinchy 150 (22); Dundrod 150 (2); Monaghan (1); Tandragee 100 (17); Cookstown100 (11); Fore (6); Munster 100 (1); Dundalk (4)
  • Honours
  • 1986 MBE
  • 1986 Ulster Sports Personality of the Year
  • 1996 OBE
  • 1993 FIM medal for services to motorcycle sport 1995
  • 1995 and 1999 Road Racing Ireland "Rider of the Year"
  • 1995 Arai "Dip.of Merit" Award
  • 2000 Manx Sword of State "King of the Mountain"
  • Enkalon "Rider of the Year" 1979, 1980, 1983,1984,1985,1993
  • Texaco Sports Star of the Year 1984 and 1986