The grief stricken family of a young Irishman who died after falling off a rooftop in Manhattan was trying to finalize arrangements this weekend to have his body brought back to Ireland.

David Forde, 22, from Athenry, County Galway, was a schoolteacher in Ireland who had just recently qualified, and had come to America during the summer break.

He was on the rooftop of a hostel building on 107th street in Manhattan when he fell to his death. The rooftop was a regular place for residents of the hostel to gather according to sources. Earlier reports that he had die in a construction accident were incorrect.

David had come to America with a number of other Athenry area friends, and they were due to return to Ireland soon. He was described as a very popular young man who had just commenced a promising career as a teacher after graduating college.

His family is working with the Irish Consulate in New York to secure the arrangements for the body to return to Ireland.