A well-known horse and carriage driver Joe Gilligan - better known as Jarvey Joe- died in a New York subway accident last weekend.

Gilligan, from Co. Limerick and living in Queens, New York, has been working as a horse and carriage driver in the city for many years.

Gilligan gave up a good job in accounting to pursue his passion - he loved animals and entertaining people.

Gilligan often went back to Ireland to visit family and is said to have been a strong supporter of Munster rugby.

"For many people from Limerick, Joe was the first person they would go to in New York. Every second person would go to him. They would go straight to Central Park and Joe would show them around the city," a friend of Gilligan, John Duggan told the Limerick Leader this week.

"Loads of Limerick people went to him and he would show them around, and he wouldn't charge half them, that's the kind he was," said Duggan.

"He was a very good rugby player and was very quick and won college medals in athletics. He came home last February and loved to go to the Munster matches. He would have been in New York 25 years since last month and was extremely well known," added Duggan.

Arrangements were being made this weekend to send Gilligan’s body home to Ireland for burial.

Details of the accident are not known.