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Return of Lisa Smith at a 'very, very sensitive time', says Kehoe

Smith will undergo a security assessment when she returns to Ireland, it was reported earlier this month.

Lisa Smith
Lisa Smith

THE CASE OF Lisa Smith is at a “very, very sensitive time”, according to Paul Kehoe, the Minister with Responsibility for Defence. 

Smith is expected to return to Ireland by the end of this week, it is understood.

The former Defence Forces member who was married to an Islamic State (IS) fighter is expected to be repatriated from Turkey this week.

It was reported earlier this month that Smith will have to undergo a security assessment when she returns to Ireland. 

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 Islamic State (IS) fighters.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie today, Kehoe said he could not comment on when Smith is expected back on Irish soil or the preparations underway for her return. 

However, he said: “I know this is at a very, very sensitive time regarding this specific issue.

“This is not just about Lisa Smith, this is about the child of Lisa Smith who’s with her as well,” he said, adding that the operation is being led by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

“I’m not going to comment further on it but what I want to say is that we have to recognise that this is not just about Lisa Smith, this is about Lisa Smith’s child as well, and she has a family back here in Ireland as well.”

Yesterday, the Taoiseach would not give any detail about when Smith is expected back in Ireland. 

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

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