Hillary Clinton has accepted a Hall of Fame award from the Irish America magazine in a move that would give her direct access to high-profile members of the Irish-American voting block.

Mrs Clinton will be inducted into the magazine's hall of fame at a special lunch in New York next month.

Her decision to accept the honour could perhaps signal her intention to shortly announce that she will contest the 2016 presidential election.

The former secretary of state and first lady will deliver a keynote address at the high-profile St Patrick's Day gathering in Manhattan on 16 March.

The lunch is one of the few public engagements Mrs Clinton has scheduled in the coming weeks as she is said to be considering the announcement of her intention to run for the highest US political office.

Speaking about the decision to honour Mrs Clinton, Niall O'Dowd, the publisher of the Irish America magazine, said "Hillary Rodham Clinton is one of the unsung heroes of the success of the Irish peace process."