Ireland rugby international David Tweed dies in motorbike crash

Ireland’s oldest debutant died at the scene close to Dunseverick in Co Antrim

Former Ireland rugby international David Tweed has died in a crash in Co Antrim.

Mr Tweed died at the scene on Whitepark Road close to Dunseverick on Thursday.

The former Ulster rugby star was riding a motorbike when he was involved in a collision at around 4.30pm.

The father of four became Ireland’s oldest debutant when he was selected to play against France in the Five Nations in 1995.


That year, he won another three Irish caps including one against Japan at the Rugby World Cup in South Africa.

He also played for Ireland against Wales and Italy.

Mr Tweed was a former member of the Orange Order and entered politics with the Rev Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionist Party after his lodge LOL 496 was prevented from marching through Dunloy during the mid-1990s.

He was a key figure during the bitter sectarian Harryville dispute where loyalists picketed a Catholic church in Ballymena for nine months.

Mr Tweed left the DUP in 2007 over the party’s decision to share power with Sinn Fein and later joined Jim Allister’s Traditional Unionist Voice.

In a statement, Mr Allister said: “I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of former Ireland rugby star and Ballymena councillor, Davy Tweed, in a motorcycle accident yesterday.

“Davy, a larger than life character, was widely known across North Antrim and further afield. His family is deeply rooted and respected in the Ballymoney/Dunloy community.

“This is a devastating blow to his family and wide circle of friends. I wish to express my deepest sympathy to his grieving family at this very difficult time.”