Sunday 21 April 2019

'I hope that she gets back safe' - locals react to Lisa Smith captured in Syria on suspicion of supporting Isil

Ms Smith gives an interview to ITV in Syria this week. Picture:
Ms Smith gives an interview to ITV in Syria this week. Picture:

Alan O'Keeffe

Locals in Dundalk say they hope a former member of the Defence Forces who has been captured in Syria on suspicion of supporting Isil "gets home safe".

Lisa Smith was a frequent visitor to her mother's home which was shared by her younger sister.

Speaking in Dundalk yesterday, one woman said; "I grew up with Lisa. She was fairly quiet growing up and she was really nice. I hope that she gets back safe."

A 52-year-old woman who lives in the same estate said: "I often saw her visiting her mother. She was dressed in the long Muslim robes. A man who I think was her husband would come too. He had a beard and seemed to be from the Middle East. He wore normal clothes.

"Maybe Lisa was misled in her beliefs. And if her husband had forced her to go to Syria then I would hope that she would be helped to get back home to Ireland.

"But if she still believes in what ISIS have been doing then they should not bring her back to Ireland," she said.

Locals said that Ms Smith has a number of siblings still living in Dundalk.

A 63-year-old man living nearby said: "I think she should be given a chance and allowed to return to Ireland under strict supervision. Her family must be terribly worried."

And a 51-year-old woman who knows the family said it was "unfortunate what she got herself into."

"I doubt if they will send the Government jet out to bring her back. She needs help. The Government should help Irish citizens. I feel so sorry for the family," she added.

One local woman who didn’t want to be named said that Smith should not be allowed back into Ireland if she is found to have supported Isil and claimed that a man whom she believed to be her husband had lived in Dundalk for a while.

"She should be kept over there. Why should Irish politicians try to get her back to Ireland?

"I don’t want her back in Dundalk and I would sign a petition to keep her out.

"Over in England they didn’t leave that other girl back into their country, we should do the same," she said.

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