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Norma Costello
Lisa Smith

Gardaí 'may be in position to charge' Lisa Smith upon arrival in Ireland, Varadkar says

Smith is expected to arrive back in Ireland this weekend.

GARDAÍ MAY BE in a position to charge Lisa Smith following her expected arrival back in Ireland this weekend, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said. 

The former Defence Forces member who was married to a fighter for the so-called Islamic State (IS) is expected to arrived in Ireland this weekend. 

Depending on how quickly her case is processed by Turkish officials, she could land back in Ireland as soon as today. However, if the process is delayed, it could be tomorrow evening, sources say. 

It’s understood that members of the Defence Forces flew to Turkey to accompany Lisa Smith and her child on their way back to Ireland. They are expected to fly home on a commercial aircraft.

Speaking to reporters today at the Dublin Mid-West by-election count centre, Varadkar said: “It’s anticipated that two Irish citizens – Lisa Smith and her daughter – will return to Ireland this weekend. 

“Obviously, when it comes to her daughter, she is a child, she’s going to be protected. Social services are ready to do that.”

Tusla is involved in the welfare plans being put in place for Smith’s two-year-old child ahead of their return to Ireland.

Varadkar went on to say that gardaí “are going to want to speak to” Smith upon her arrival in Ireland. He said:

They may be in a position to charge her. If they do, then prosecution may follow. 

Smith had lived in Syria until Turkey’s recent incursion into the country.

She 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 IS fighters.

With reporting by Ronan Duffy

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