Elizabeth Burke

Place of birth: Buffalo, NY.

What is your profession? Office Manager for NYS Assemblyman Patrick Burke.

How do you celebrate your Irishness? I am a former member of the award-winning Irish folk group, the Leftovers. I am a co-chair of the Buffalo Irish Festival. I am a member of the Buffalo Irish Center. I am a supporter of the local GAA, the Buffalo Fenians.

Name a hero you admire and why? A hero of mine is my mother, Karen Shea, who taught me that kindness will always win; kindness to others, kindness to those who may not seem to deserve it, and kindness to yourself. You never know what the other person is experiencing, and one small act on your part may affect someone in a big way.

Something people would be surprised to know about me... is that I never wanted to be in a band. It was the last thing I thought would want, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made to stick with it. The friendships, connections and memories made by being a part of the Leftovers are some of the things I treasure most. And being the soundtrack of people's lives is such a privilege; I do not take that for granted.

Biography: I am the proud co-chair of the Buffalo Irish Festival. I have held that title since 2021, when Mary Heneghan asked me to be a part of the event. I am the former lead singer of the Leftovers. In the 20 years we were together, we released 4 albums, won three ArtVoice Awards and played all over WNY. I live and work in Buffalo with my amazing husband Paul and our brilliant three year old daughter, Brigid.

2024 Heroes of Irish America Awards