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Hundreds attend funeral of William Dunlop

William Dunlop's funeral took place on Wednesday. Credit: UTV

Hundreds of friends, family and road racing fans have paid their last respects to William Dunlop at his funeral.

The 32-year-old died at the Skerries 100 in Dublin at the weekend.

Mourners gathered at Garryduff Church near Ballymoney to remember William, who was described as a devoted dad, as well as a much loved partner, son and brother.

The funerals for his father Robert and uncle Joey were held in the same church.

Mourners gathered for the funeral. Credit: Pacemaker

“I’m nearly lost for words, to be honest,” said Rev John Kirkpatrick, the Motorcycle Union of Ireland Chaplain.

“It’s the third time, same family, and just to feel the weight of the grief this family has is really overwhelming, not just for me but for everybody I think.

“But they are a strong family and they’ll be there for each other.”

William Dunlop died on Saturday following a crash during a warm-up session at the Skerries race in the Republic of Ireland.

Many wore their road racing leathers as they attended the funeral close to his hometown.

The Rev Kirkpatrick told Dunlop's partner Janine, daughter Emma, his mother Louise, brothers Michael and Daniel, and his grandmother May that this day was primarily for them.

"You who knew him best, loved him the deepest, and miss him most," he said.

"I count it an honour to be asked to speak today and as I do so I have in mind - three families. William's partner Janine and daughter Ella, his Dunlop family and the racing family.”

William Dunlop was buried in the same graveyard as his dad Robert and uncle Joey. Credit: Pacemaker.

He paid tribute to Dunlop's racing career which started at 17, and included 108 national and 11 International wins, and also reflected on having led Robert's funeral at the same church.

"At Robert's funeral, I said: 'Not many people finish what they start, not all persevere in adversity or push themselves to their potential - this made Robert stand out from the crowd',” Rev Kirkpatrick said.

"William watched and learned from Robert and his life developed those same qualities and, although his life has been shorter than many and certainly shorter than we hoped, the one he chose to live was not dull but full."