Interview

Dundalk woman Lisa Smith says she wants to come home

CNN Interview

Jason Newman

Reporter:

Jason Newman

Dundalk woman Lisa Smith says she wants to come home

Image from the interview with CNN. PHOTO: CNN

Lisa Smith, the Dundalk woman currently detained in a Syrian camp, has told a CNN journalist that she wants to come home.

Speaking with a distinct Dundalk accent and holding her young daughter in her arms the 37 year old explained: “I think people should just realise that all the people here are not terrorists.”

Initially refusing to give her name but stating that she was Irish and “famous”, she was later identified by Irish media.

Asked by the reporter if she was ready to face the possibility of prison she replied: “I know they'd strip me of my passport and I wouldn't travel and I'd be watched kind of, but prison? I don't know. I'm already in prison.”

Speaking to Morning Ireland the CNN reporter who interviewed Smith explained: “She did not want to appear that she was speaking to our cameras, so we had to have our camera further away as I spoke with her.”

“[Her daughter] was born in the so called Islamic State. She also told us that before she arrived at the camp, family members were getting in touch with the Government trying to find out what happens to her next.”

“She might be interrogated, she might not be able to travel, but she's willing to take the chance, whatever it is. She just wants to get back home because she cannot stay in that camp forever.”

During the weekend the Irish Sunday Mirror reported that meetings were taking place between the Defence Forces and the Department of Foreign Affairs to draw up a plan to bring Smith home.

Last week when questioned on the possibility of Smith returning home Taoiseach Leo Varadkar responded: “Going to Syria or going to live in what was called Islamic State is not in itself an offence or a crime. So we will need to carry out an investigation. I know the authorities there will want to interrogate her to see if she has been involved in any crimes there. But it’s very possible that wasn’t a combatant.”