A Donegal woman who saved three young people’s lives has been honoured at the National Bravery Awards.

Champion surfer Zoe Lally, from Rossnowlagh, employed her skills in a dramatic rescue in Sligo last March.

On 29 March 2021, three teenage boys were swept from Easkey Pier, into the sea by a high wave.

Zoe Lally was walking her dog towards the pier and saw the boys swept into the water. Weather and sea conditions at the time were not good with a wind of force 5 and the seas as high as 4 metres at times.

Using a ring buoy Zoe was able to pull two of the teenagers to safety from the pier.

She then jumped into the water fully clothed and in rough seas swam to the third boy who had drifted out to sea. Zoe brought the boy ashore further down the coast.

All three teenagers were brought to Sligo Hospital following their ordeal and there is no doubt that if Zoe was not present that evening at Easkey Pier, there would have been three fatalities.

For her actions Zoe Lally was awarded a Silver Medal and a Certificate of Bravery.

Twenty-five National Bravery Awards were presented on Friday to individuals who risked their own lives to aid others in peril.  The annual honours are awarded by Comhairle na Míre Gaile – the Deeds of Bravery Council – which was founded in 1947 to enable State recognition of exceptional Acts of Bravery. The Council is chaired by the Ceann Comhairle and includes the Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann, the Lord Mayors of Dublin and Cork, the Garda Commissioner, the President of the Association of City & County Councils, and the Chairman of the Irish Red Cross.