CO. WESTMEATH, Ireland - Tributes have been paid to racer Darren Keys who was killed on Sunday during the two-day "Race of the South" race meeting staged by the Fore Motor Cycle Racing Club at Walderstown, a few miles from Athlone, in Co. Westmeath.
Darren 34, was taking part in the proceedings, having travelled from his home in Ballyclare, Co. Antrim in Northern Ireland.
Gardai are investigating the crash which occurred around 11:30am on Sunday.
Darren was treated at the scene before being airlifted by helicopter to the Mater Hospital where he later died.
The race meeting was abandoned. Garda forensic collision investigators did an examination of the crash site.
According to the Newtownabbey Times, Darren only took up racing in 2014, yet he completed the 2015 season as runner-up in both the Ulster and Irish Supersport Cup Championships.
Darren's home club, Armoy Motorcycle Road Racing Club, based in Co. Antrim, issued a statement later on Sunday.
"The directors, management and club members of the Armoy Motorcycle Road Racing Club are devastated to hear about the death of Darren Keys after he was involved in an incident in today's Senior Support Race at Walderstown."
"After making his road racing debut in Armoy back in 2016, Darren was really making a name for himself on the Irish National scene. A proper gentleman both on and off the bike. He was loved by everyone in the paddock - fellow riders, officials, and fans alike. A bright talent taken much too soon and he will be greatly missed," the statement said.
The club also extended its condolences to Darren's wife Justine, daughter Molly, sons Charlie and Harry, family, friends and the team.