Bertie and Heather Law
HUNDREDS of people travelled to Hillsborough
last Friday to pay their last respects to Bertie Law, one of
Lisburn's best known businessmen who passed away peacefully at
his Harry's Road home on January 22 after a long illness.
The village's Presbyterian Church was filled
to overflowing for the moving service which was followed by
burial at Lisburn New Cemetery.
Mr. Law was well known as Company Director of
local building firm W. J. Law. However, he was also a former
Irish national rally champion and has been described as one of
Northern Ireland's 'larger than life' motorsport characters.
Through the late 70's and 80's he was one of the major players
on the Irish rally scene, a devotee of Vauxhall Magnums and
Chevettes as driven by his rally hero, seven-times Circuit of
Ireland winner Jimmy McRae.
He took the Irish national championship in
1983 and '84. Indeed, his proudest moment came in 1984 when he
won the Burmah Rally in Lurgan Park driving the distinctive
silver HSR Chevette which had originally been McRae's Dealer
Team Vauxhall car from 1980.
He won that day after a nail-biting duel with
Kenny McKinstry, the all-time Lurgan Park champion during which
he achieved 10 victories.
Kenny McKinstry remembers it well: "He beat
me by one second," he recalled.
"It was a great battle, a second here or
there between us every stage but he got me in the end - but then
we had a lot of great battles down the years, both in rallies
"One of the best rallycross races I ever had
was with Bertie at Kirkistown, bumper-to-bumper all the way
until I squeezed past him on the last lap.
"He was a wonderful character as well as a
great driver," added the two-time Irish Tarmac rally champion.
Mr. Law was runner-up to McKinstry in the
1987 and '88 Northern Ireland rally-cross championships and
competed with distinction at many of the major internationals
like the Circuit of Ireland, Ulster, Donegal and Cork rallies in
a career that was marked by his humour and his sportsmanship as
well as his successes.
He is survived by his wife Heather, sons
Alan, John, James and Victoria, daughters in law Gillian and
Christine and his father in law Maurice. He is also survived by
his brother Brian and sister Blanche.
The family asked for no flowers at the
funeral but said donations should be sent to The George Best
Liver Foundation c/o Ronnie Thompson (funeral director), 20,
Ballinderry Road, Lisburn. BT28 1UE