Inspirational teen shot by Taliban receives Tipperary Peace Prize

Pakistani student Malala Yousafzai receives Tipperary Peace prize

A Pakistani teenager shot in the head by the Taliban was awarded a peace prize in Tipperary for her courage and determination on Tuesday.

Pakistani student Malala Yousafzai, who is also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, became the latest recipient of the Tipperary International Peace Award at a ceremony in at Ballykisteen House.

The 16-year-old activist was targeted by the Taliban last October after she campaigned for girls to attend school without fear. Since age 11 the schoolgirl had been writing an anonymous blog for the BBC about the struggle faced by girls trying to receive an education under the Taliban.

When her identity was revealed the Taliban militia boarded her school bus and shot her at point blank range in the head.

The bullet hit her just above her left eye and grazed the edge of her brain. She was airlifted to Britain and treated at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where doctors fitted a titanium plate and cochlear implant. Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari visited her in hospital.

Tipperary Peace Convention spokesman Martin Quinn said he was delighted the teenager had agreed to accept the award in person in Co Tipperary.

"We are really looking forward to receiving her and presenting her with this well-deserved accolade," he said.

"Malala now joins the illustrious list of past recipients of the peace prize, which includes former prime minister of Pakistan, the late Benazir Bhutto."

The Tipperary Peace Prize was established in the early 1980s for an individual who has made a special contribution to the cause of peace.

Last year's recipients were former president of Ireland Professor Mary McAleese and her husband Senator Martin McAleese.