Former Lord Mayor hits out at his own party over plans to bring Islamic State bride back to Ireland

Former Lord Mayor hits out at his own party over plans to bring Islamic State bride back to Ireland
Joe O'Callaghan said the decision to facilitate Lisa Smith's return would send out a dangerous signal.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

A FORMER Lord Mayor has hit out at his own party over plans to assist Irish Islamic State bride Lisa Smith to return to Ireland.

Fine Gael member Joe O’Callaghan said the decision to facilitate her return would send out a dangerous signal that an Irish citizen can travel abroad to support any “despotic” regime and that we would send out the “Government jet” to bring them home if it didn’t work out.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said yesterday that Ireland has a duty of care to the 37-year-old Louth woman and her child.

A former member of the Irish Defence Forces, Ms Smith left Dundalk four years ago and married an ISIL sympathiser who has since died. Interviewed by CNN recently she said she “wants to go home”.

Mr Coveney said the case of Ms Smith was unusual.

“Like all Irish people, we want to look after them and bring them home if they want to come home. We have a responsibility towards her and in particular her daughter, and we will try to follow through on this responsibility. “

However, his comments angered Mr O’Callaghan, who acted as Lord Mayor of Cork in 1995.

“It’s outrageous what they are suggesting. This woman, a former member of our Defence Forces, left to join one of the most barbaric organisations in history. An organisation that cuts off people’s heads and burned people alive.

"To think they would get special treatment now that it has gone wrong is just crazy."

“Our Government has lost the run of itself. This sends out all the wrong signals.”

"People will think you go off out abroad and get involved in any despotic organisation and regardless of what happens, we will send out the Government jet for you if it doesn't work out."

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