Young motorbike rider killed during practise session for road race

FOR the second year in a row a young motorbike rider has died in a practise session for the Kells road races.

Stephen Larkin, 27, from Armagh, died after the accident while preparing for the road race on Saturday afternoon.

Mr Larkin had been out on the Crossakiel circuit practicing for the 401-750cc support race when the crash happened at 5.20pm. He was taken to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin where he died.

The rider’s family requested that racing go ahead yesterday.

Kells Motorcycle Racing Club (MCRC) secretary Aileen Ferguson said: “His wife Katherine, father Gerry and brother Michael stated that it is what Stephen would have wanted, he loved the racing.”

She added; “Kells MCRC would like to express their sympathy to all the Larkin family and to all Stephen’s many friends.”

Last July, 32-year-old Padraig Campbell died, also in a practice session.

His death was the first in the 15-year history of the Crossakiel event.

On Saturday afternoon a man was also killed after he fell from a cliff at Howth Head in Dublin.

It is understood he fell almost 50 foot at about 3pm.

The emergency services were alerted by a tourist walking on the cliffs.

The man was located on the cliff but he had already died. The body was winched from the scene by the Coast Guard helicopter and removed to Tallaght Hospital.

Meanwhile, police in Northern Territory, Australia are investigating the death of a 27-year-old backpacker from the North whose body was recovered from a lake on Saturday evening.

The man was amongst a group of 20 backpackers, though it is believed he was the only one of the group to go swimming at Malanbanjbanjdju Billabong.

Police received a report at about 7pm on Saturday evening that the Irish backpacker had entered the Billabong and failed to surface after getting into difficulties about 20 metres from shore.

“The police and the National Park rangers went to the scene when the alarm was raised,” said duty superintendent Del Jones

“We mounted a search and just after 10pm the National Park rangers located his body in about two metres of water.

“There’s no indications a crocodile was involved however we have to wait until the autopsy results.”

The lake is about 200 metres by 50 metres, and dangerous due to crocodiles that inhabit the area. It is situated at Kakadu National Park where Australia’s most successful film, Crocodile Dundee, was shot in 1986.


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