Monument to honour Temple 100

Monument to honour Temple 100

15 September 2021

THE history of the iconic Temple 100 road race is to be immortalised in a stunning new granite monument.

Details of the permanent display — which will feature Dromara’s Brian Reid on board his racing machine — have been unveiled by the Temple Motorcycle and Athletic Club and will be located on land close to the Temple roundabout.

The roundabout has been constructed at what was previously a busy crossroads and when the new road layout was constructed, the late Sam McBride and his son Joe saw an opportunity to immortalise the history of what was widely regarded as one of the oldest true road races in Ireland and one of the oldest events of its kind in the world.

Plans were drawn up to to display a motorbike and rider to honour the sport of motorcycle racing and the community it brought together through their shared interest in it.

The Temple and surrounding area has been home to motorbike racing since it hosted the first road race in 1921 which was held annually thereafter until the turn of the millennium. This quiet, rural part of the district will be forever associated with the race and the sport of road racing.

After much work to organise the erection of the new monument with local government bodies, a meeting was held to confirm that it would be a granite replica of former Formula Two world champion Brian Reid who lifted the crown in 1985 and 1986.

Reid was an avid rider at the Temple 100 and will be depicted on the new monument on board his TZ 250cc Yamaha.

Local businessman Mr McBride, who was the Temple 100’s clerk of the course and press officer, was a proud club member and a key figure within the organisation for many years.

When he sadly passed away, it was agreed that it would be fitting to also honour his memory with the new monument with 2021 marking the club’s 100th anniversary.

For almost a century, members of the Temple Club were responsible for the running and organisation of the Temple 100 and also staged other motorsport races and events.

Setting the stage for motorcycle riders to follow their dreams, the Temple 100 also brought people together in an adrenalin-fuelled spectator sport. 

Each year, the widely acclaimed and successful event was planned and engineered by a team of hard working local people who were friends, motorcycle enthusiasts and family men brought together by the Club and their love of the sport.

Over several generations, those who ran the club committed themselves to bring the thrilling sport of road racing to life every summer.

The dedication, time and hard work of members resulted in riders and their machines from every corner of the road racing world making their way to the local circuit, with racing legends emerging on the tight roads around the course, creating a roster of champions never to be forgotten and a world wide fan base.

The new monument will be erected in the car park adjacent to the Temple roundabout for local people and visitors to view and will provide a brief history of the local race club.

In addition, it will feature a detailed illustration highlighting the five different circuits used by the Temple Motorcycle and Athletic Club to host the races over the past century, starting with the original Temple circuit and ending with the one locally known as the ‘Saintfield circuit’.

The granite monument will also honour the eight riders who sadly lost their lives racing at the event, including Philip Conroy who passed away at the circuit in 1999.

The Sam McBride Trust was formed by his son Joe and charity events it has organised have secured funds to help pay for the new monument, while a JustGiving page has been set up to allow the public to make donations which Temple officials say will be greatly appreciated and received with thanks.

With that help, Sam and Joe’s vision to ensure that current and future generations will know of the century old Temple Motorcycle and Athletic Club and the racers who once raced on local roads will be realised.