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'Isis bride' accused Lisa Smith wins UK legal battle on decision to exclude her from entering North


Alleged ISIS bride Lisa Smith has won her legal battle against her exclusion from the UK over nationals security fears.

The former Irish soldier is currently banned from the UK under regulations that allow for the exclusion of EEA nationals if there are public security concerns.

Ms Smith (39) is due to go on trial before the Special Criminal Court next year charged with Isis membership and funding terrorism.

She was served with a notice by the British Home Secretary last December to exclude her from the country on the grounds of national security.

The decision was appealed before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) at a sitting in London on April 21.

Lawyers on behalf of Lisa Smith, living in Dundalk, argued that she had close family connections to Northern Ireland and regularly travelled across the Border.

They also said that her father was born in Belfast which entitled her to be treated as a dual national, making it unlawful to exclude her from the country.

The British Home Office argued that because her parents were not married when she was born - they are still not married - she is not a British national.

The SIAC in its ruling today said that to exclude Ms Smith has been determined to be discriminatory and ruled in her favour against the ban.

Ms Smith’s solicitor Darragh Mackin announced details of the court’s decision in a press release this morning.

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“Today’s ruling is hugely significant for the upholding of basic human rights principles which include the right to be free from discrimination.

“The decision to exclude our client was discriminatory and contrary to the basic principles underpinning the Good Friday Agreement,” he said.

“As an Irish citizen who resides in a border town, it was always asserted that to restrict her from travelling across the border was unlawful and could not be stood over.

“We warmly welcome the Court’s determination today which will now reinstate our client’s basic rights to travel to the North of Ireland at her convenience,” Mr Mackin added.

Mr Mackin and Sinead Marmionm of Phoenix Law, represented Lisa Smith along with Hugh Southey QC and Lara Smyth BL.

The Dundalk woman's trial date for terrorism charges is set for January 2022 and is expected to last 12 weeks.

Ms Smith is charged with an offence contrary to the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005, which carries a maximum ten-year sentence on conviction

She is accused of being a member of unlawful terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS) between 28 October 2015 and 1 December 2019.

Last July a further charge was brought against under the same legislation for financing terrorism by sending €800 in assistance, via a Western Union money transfer, to a named man on 6 May 2015.

All charged are denied by Lisa Smith.

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