A News of the World article following the death of Victor Gilmore, 43, during the Killalane road races in southern Ireland has sparked fury within the road race community.
The article, printed last week, says that Gilmore was banned from the road for drink driving at the time of his death. The headline was: “Bike king a drink driver”.
Fans are furious at the article’s insensitivity. Posting on a Facebook page dedicated to the paper’s treatment of Gilmore’s death, thedrifter wrote: “What Victor did in his private life had nothing to do with his racing, and for those of us that knew him and raced with him he was a true sportsman. R.I.P Victor.”
Belfez wrote: “The man has only been buried a few days and someone decides to publish this shite. This is really LOW.”
All at MCN send our condolences to Victor’s friends and relatives.
Read more comments here.
Here’s the full News of the World article:
BIKE KING A DRINK DRIVER
Exclusive by PATRICK MONTROSE
A top biker killed in a horror smash last week was banned from the road for drink-driving.
Victor Gilmore, 43, died after losing control of his Suzuki at more than 160kph and smashing into safety barriers during the Killalane races in Skerries, Co. Dublin last Sunday.
The dad of three from Ballymoney, Co. Antrim was barred from public roads seven moths earlier over a smash that left a woman seriously injured.
Gilmore had admitted drink-driving and driving without due care just moments before he was due to go on trial at Antrim Crown Court.
Lindsay Kelly was hurt when the biker crashed near his home in March last year. He was fined £250 and ordered to take part in a rehabilitation course. Gilmore was also told to stay off the road for 12 months but took part in the fateful bike rally just over six months later. He died in hospital after the smash - in the 600cc race - which also injured a marshall.
Responding to questions about Gilmore's driving ban, MCI vice president Damian Tolan said "I know nothing about that. That's the first I've heard about it."
When asked what the organisations rules about road bans were he insisted "I'm not getting into that discussion with you. I know nothing of what happened outside racing."
Gilmore died 24 hours before he was due to give evidence at an inquest into the death of an elderly spectator at a race meet last year. Racing fan Hill McCook, 73, was hit by Gilmore's bike after the rider lost control during the Armoy Road Races in Co. Antrim. Coroner John Leckey described Mr. McCook's death as a "fluke accident."