Northern Ireland motorcycling star William Dunlop has been tragically killed in practice for the Skerries 100 near Dublin.
The popular Ballymoney man suffered fatal injuries after an incident during Open practice on the Temple Golf Club Yamaha on Saturday shortly after 5pm.
It is understood the crash happened at the Sam’s Tunnel section of the 2.9-mile course.
William (32) was making his return to racing after withdrawing from the Isle of Man TT in June, when he travelled back to Northern Ireland to be by his pregnant partner’s side after concerns over their unborn baby.
A statement issued by the organising Loughshinny Motorcycle Club said: “The Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club, organisers of the Skerries 100, deeply regrets to announce that competitor William Dunlop of Ballymoney, Co. Antrim, has passed away following injuries received in a tragic accident that occurred during practise which took place today 7th July 2018.
“The Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club extends their heartfelt sympathy to William Dunlop's family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very sad time.”
The tragedy is the third racing fatality suffered by the Dunlop family, with Joey killed in a crash in Estonia in 2000, while William's father Robert lost his life following a crash during practice for the 2008 North West 200.