A cyclist who died after a crash with a lorry on the A40, was an “inspiring” animal rights activist.

Joseph Gaffney, 46, from Ruislip, died on the A40 Western Avenue in Northolt near the start of the new year (January 3) after his bicycle crashed with a lorry at around 6.20am.

Despite the efforts of emergency services workers, Joseph died at the scene.

The driver of the lorry stopped after the incident, but no arrests were made.

Joseph’s death did not go unnoticed, considering he was known in the animal activism community as a passionate and inspiring force.

Not only did his inspiration reach out to people within London, but even across the globe.

Ealing Times:

Joseph Gaffney at the London Fashion Week in September 2017. (Photo: Facebook)

Videos of him at rallies and protests posted online was seen from people in the United States, Canada and more.

Mark Barron, 50, lives in Darlington, but also became aware of the work of Joseph and even calls him a friend, despite the far distance from Ruislip.

He said: “I know him from his work in London, he’s been involved in many different protests, but it probably was the protest against fur trade where we met. It’s been about five years, I think.

“He was very funny and very passionate. He wasn’t afraid to stand up for the cause.”

Mr Barron was relatively new to the activism scene when they first met and believes that it was Joseph who gave him a “guiding hand” into that lifestyle.

“He’s a true inspiration, probably because he practiced what he preached, but he also would always go the extra mile to welcome others and give them a guiding hand.”

One of the memorable qualities that stuck out to Mr Barron was how unapologetically “outspoken” he would be when it came to push his cause.

“Quite often vegans or some activists will just preach the mission online and sharing petitions. But he’d be out there on the streets sharing to the public.

“He was inspiring through his words and he changed the lives for so many of the people he spoke to.”

The inspiration was apparent, as hundreds of people shared their condolences and thanks to the work made by Joseph.

Ealing Times:

Joseph would reguarly take part in various protests. (Photo: Facebook)

He added: “I think he found his strength in the vegan community. They inspired him to carry on, like he was given a direction in life.”

Unfortunately, Joseph was the first cyclist to die on a London road in 2020.

Mr Barron started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the funeral of Mr Barron and has raised over £2,000.

On the page, Joseph’s brother Gary Gaffney shared: “Obviously this is a terrible tragedy that has struck all of us.

“The empathy, kindness and generosity shown by the vegan community has shone a light on the effect Joseph had on others. This in turn makes us proud of his actions.”

Funeral dates and arrangement have yet to be confirmed, but it is believed that animal activists and the public may be welcome to attend.

To donate to the GoFundMe page, visit here.

Police are still appealing for anyone with information, or who may have captured the collision on dashcam footage, to call on 101 quoting reference 1171/03JAN.