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04 Oct 2022

Dundalk woman Lisa Smith wanted to "die a martyr", a prosecution barrister has told the Special Criminal Court

Dundalk woman Lisa Smith wanted to "die a martyr",  a prosecution barrister has told the Special Criminal Court

Lisa Smith told a woman she met in Syria that she wanted to live under Sharia law and was prepared to "die a martyr", a prosecution barrister has told the Special Criminal Court.

Opening Ms Smith's trial this morning, Tuesday January 25th, Sean Gillane SC for the Director of Public Prosecutions said the State intends to show that Ms Smith "answered the call" to join the Islamic State, an illegal terrorist organisation that had seized control over a large part of Iraq and Syria.

Mr Gillane said that Islamic State needed fighters and others who could give sustenance and vitality to the group in achieving its aims and Ms Smith had "addressed, assessed and answered the call to emigrate to the territory controlled by Isis." 

In answering the call, Mr Gillane said she had "self-identified as a member" of Isis.

He said the prosecution intends to show that Ms Smith told another woman she wanted to live under Sharia law and was prepared to die a martyr.

Ms Smith (39) from Dundalk, Co Louth has pleaded not (NOT) guilty to membership of an unlawful terrorist group, Islamic State, between October 28th, 2015 and December 1st, 2019.

She has also pleaded not (NOT) guilty to financing terrorism by sending €800 in assistance, via a Western Union money transfer, to a named man on May 6th, 2015.

The first witness called by the prosecution, Una McCartney, said she was a friend of Ms Smith's for many years when they both lived in Dundalk.

She told Michael O'Higgins SC, for the defence, that Ms Smith was "naive and easily taken in" and was "looking for a sense of belonging" which she may have found through Islam.

She also said Ms Smith's upbringing had been difficult due to her father who the witness described as a violent alcoholic. 

The trial continues before Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding with Judge Gerard Griffin and Judge Cormac Dunne at the three-judge, non-jury court.

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