Irish ‘ISIS Bride’ Lisa Smith wins appeal against ban on entry to UK

Irish ‘ISIS Bride’ Lisa Smith wins appeal against ban on entry to UK

A COUNTY Louth woman previously dubbed the “Irish ISIS Bride” by the press has won an appeal against a ban preventing her from entering the UK.

Former Irish Defence Forces member Lisa Smith hit the headlines after being accused of being a member of the so-called Islamic State (IS).

The 39-year-old is currently out converted to Islam in 2016 before travelling to Syria to join up IS forces.

She later wound up in a detention camp for ISIS affiliates in Syria along with her two-year-old daughter, before eventually fleeing to Turkey.

Following protracted discussions within the Irish government, Smith was brought back to Ireland in December 2019 and charged with foreign terrorist offences and membership of a terrorist group.

Currently out on bail ahead of a scheduled trial next January, Smith had been the subject of a Home Office-issued exclusion order preventing her from entering the UK on the grounds of public security.

The case ultimately hinged on the fact Smith’s father is originally from Belfast.

Both sides in the case brought before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) accepted the UK retains the right to deny entry to non-British citizens from European Economic Area (EEA) countries, including Ireland.

However, Smith’s legal team argued her father’s birthplace meant she was entitled to the rights of a dual national.

Though Smith’s father was not married to her mother when she was born, the SIAC allowed Smith’s appeal on the basis of the nationality rights established as part of the Good Friday Agreement.

Darragh Mackin, Smith’s solicitor, welcomed the decision.

"Today's ruling is hugely significant for the upholding of basic human rights principles, which include the right to be free from discrimination," he said.

"The decision to exclude our client was discriminatory and contrary to the basic principles underpinning the Good Friday Agreement.

"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.”

The judgement means Smith’s basic rights to travel to Northern Ireland have once again been reestablished.