Pulsed-laser-deposited ZnO thin films were exposed to a 1.5 MeV helium ion beam to study the changes in radiative and non-radiative recombination. We first measured photoluminescence (PL) spectra at 4.2 K excited with the 325 nm line of a HeCd laser. The as-deposited films showed a donor-bound exciton peak at 3.3567 eV attributed to Zn interstitials. After irradiation the donor-bound-exciton dominated PL spectra shifted to acceptor-bound behaviour with a signal at 3.3519 eV, tentatively attributed to Li or Na acceptors. In contrast to the approximately 30 % decrease of the PL signal near the band edge, we observed a strong concomitant enhancement of the green/orange PL band, located between 2.1 eV and 2.8 eV, by a factor of over 4. Candidates for those transitions are Li impurities and/or O vacancies. For comparison, the steady-state photocurrent decreased strongly in the irradiated region, which can also be attributed to increased non-radiative recombination through oxygen-related defects.