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Dundalk TD says Lisa Smith 'is willing to speak to anybody to clear her name'

Independent TD Peter Fitzpatrick said that Lisa Smith “wants to come home to Dundalk”, upon her imminent return to Ireland.

A DUNDALK TD has said that Lisa Smith is willing to testify to clear her name when she returns to Ireland, and that she wants to go back to Dundalk.

Smith is a former member of the Irish Defence Forces who was married to an Islamic State fighter and lived in Syria until Turkey’s recent incursion into the country.

It was revealed recently that she and her child are due to be repatriated to Ireland by Turkey. She will face a security assessment upon her return, and a possible prosecution

Speaking to the LMFM’s The Michael Reade Show, Dundalk TD Peter Fitzpatrick said that she remarried because “a woman can’t live alone in that country”.

“She has a baby daughter,” the independent TD said. “In 2019 she was captured and detained by US forces in Syria.

She’s denied being a member of Isis, she says she’s not guilty, she says she’s never owned a gun.

“She wants to come home to her country, she wants to come home to Dundalk, and she’s willing to speak to anybody to clear her name.”

Background

Smith had been captured by Kurdish forces in northeast Syria after Islamic State fighters lost control of their final stronghold.

She was being held with her two-year old daughter in the Al-Hawl displacement camp for the wives and children of Islamic State (IS) fighters.

The 38-year-old woman reportedly fled the camp with her daughter when the recent Turkish military incursion began.

Turkey said it was in the process of deporting 20 ‘foreign jihadists’ and said two Irish citizens were among those who were to be repatriated. It is understood that the two are Lisa Smith and her daughter.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is believed to have issued Smith and her child with emergency documents so they can travel home.

Members of the Irish Defence Forces had already been dispatched to the border area between Syria and Turkey to bring Smith and her child home. Now it looks likely she will return to Ireland in a matter of weeks.

- with reporting from Michelle Hennessy. 

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