Tribute garden to legendary Dromara Destroyers unveiled

A tribute garden in honour of the Dromara Destroyers was unveiled on Thursday evening.

The garden pays homage to legendary Irish road racing quartet Brian Reid, Ray McCullough, Trevor Steele and Ian McGregor, who were all in attendance at the ceremony.

Pictured with 'Dromara Destroyers' Ian McGregor, Brian Reid, Ray McCullough and Trevor Steele are Bill Kennedy, Armoy Clerk of the Course, and former Armoy Armada member Jim Dunlop. Picture: Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

Pictured with 'Dromara Destroyers' Ian McGregor, Brian Reid, Ray McCullough and Trevor Steele are Bill Kennedy, Armoy Clerk of the Course, and former Armoy Armada member Jim Dunlop. Picture: Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

The Dromara Destroyers Committee has worked extremely hard to bring the project to reality in the County Down village and the new garden – designed by Tom Quinn of Quinn Architects – includes four bronzed busts of the Destroyers members, created by artist John Sherlock, plus new seating and lighting.

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council supported the development of the tribute, which was also delivered with additional funding support from the NI Rural Development Programme through Lagan Rural Partnership, plus a contribution from the successful fundraising events carried out by the Dromara Destroyers Committee over the years.

Former racer Steele said: “I am humbled by the creation of this magnificent garden. Not many people can say they have lived to see themselves honoured in this way. We are all delighted with the finished project.

“I want to express my sincerest thanks to all those involved, particularly the Destroyers Committee that have campaigned over the years to make this happen. Motorbike racing is in our blood and we hope that our legacy will continue to inspire others from Dromara and further afield.”

Ray McCullough unveils a bronze bust created as a tribute to the famous 'Dromara Destroyer' legend.

Ray McCullough unveils a bronze bust created as a tribute to the famous 'Dromara Destroyer' legend.

Alderman William Leathem, Chair of the Council’s Development Committee, said the tribute was a ‘wonderful recognition’ of the former racers’ achievements.

“I am thrilled to see this project come to fruition. The finished garden is fantastic and a wonderful recognition to the success of the Dromara Destroyers,” he said.

“Northern Ireland is full of racing enthusiasts and this new garden provides an ideal way to acknowledge the success of the wider motorbike fraternity from Dromara and the surrounding areas.”

The Dromara Destroyers had a famed rivalry with the Armoy Armada, which included Joey Dunlop, Mervyn Robinson, Frank Kennedy and Jim Dunlop. Sadly, Jim is the only surviving member of the group, with Joey, Frank and Mervyn all killed in racing accidents.