North Antrim MLA and Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey joined First Minister Peter Robinson at Stormont in welcoming local motorcycling star Michael Dunlop to recognise the achievements of the eleven times TT winner.
The 25-year old Ballymoney man sealed a second consecutive four-timer at the TT in June and is now only three wins behind Mike Hailwood in the all-time winners’ hall of fame.
Dunlop followed this up by winning the feature race and taking the lap record at the Frohburg Road Races in Germany in September. Michael will be hoping to add to his ever increasing list of victories when he travels to the Macau Grand Prix in November for the second time having sat out the last two years.
First Minister Peter Robinson said: “The name Dunlop is famed worldwide for motorcycle racing and Michael undoubtedly has road racing in his blood.
“He has the determination, focus and talent which mark him out alongside some of the most famous names in the sport.
“Michael is following in a proud family tradition and he is a sports star which everyone in Northern Ireland can proud of.”
North Antrim MLA Mervyn Storey said: “Ballymoney is the home of roadracing and Michael has been recognised as the youngest ever recipient of the freedom of Ballymoney. I was delighted that he could come to Stormont today so that we might be able to mark his success in a sport which requires such dedication and focus.
“I look forward to celebrating many more Dunlop victories in the years to come.”