ALL ROADS LEAD TO BUFFALO: The Queen City will crown People's Choice Award winner next Friday at Heroes of Irish America gala Randy Duchaine, Visit Buffalo-Niagara

Battle of Buffalo as People's Choice Award Votes Flow In

Highlight of the Heroes of Irish America Awards in Buffalo, NY, next week will be the presentation of the People's Choice Award — with the proud winner being determined by an already-underway internet vote.

Some 33 champions of Irish America will be honored at the gala dinner in the Buffalo-Niagara Convention Centre on Friday 26 April, marking the second time the city has hosted a national Irish Echo Awards event.

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Among recipients travelling in to 'the Capital of Irish America' for the Awards will be Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians President Marilyn Madigan, GAA Cleveland stalwart Vincent Beach, Irish Dems advocate Stella O'Leary and the Director of the Irish Railroad Workers Museum, Sammie Samuels.

Special Awards on the night will also go to Irish language activist and teacher Caoimhín Mac Con Raoi from Buffalo and to Joan Moody, veteran ambassador for the Harp and Shamrock Society of San Antonio, TX, who will receive the Heart of Irish American Award for keeping Irish traditions and heritage alive in the Lone Star State.

You can still vote to decide the winner of the People's Choice Award by going to our online voting page. Every vote counts and, in the best Tammany Hall tradition, each supporter can record one vote per day from now until polling closes at 2pm on 26 April. Our online ranking (above) shows how awardees are faring today —  Bertha Hyde of the Waterfront Memories and More Museum in Buffalo is setting the pace — but the final result will be hidden a short period before close-of-poll to allow for the much-anticipated announcement of the winner on Friday evening. 

Hosting the Heroes of Irish America Awards will be State Senator Tim Kennedy — who is fighting for a seat in Congress in a special election on 30 April — while former Congressman Brian Higgins, whose resignation sparked the special election, will be honored at the gala for his faithful service to Irish America over many decades.