Irish Syria fighter Joshua Molloy released from Iraqi prison

Irish Syria fighter Joshua Molloy released from Iraqi prison

AN IRISHMAN who travelled to Syria to fight against Islamic State has been released from the Iraqi prison he was held in.

Joshua Molloy, a 24-year-old Co. Laois native, had been arrested on April 15 along with two Britons while crossing the Syrian-Iraqi border illegally.

The former British Army soldier travelled to Syria to join the Kurdish forces fighting back against the ISIS reign.

It is not specified how long Mr Molloy had spent in the Middle East but his family were informed of his release late on Saturday night by Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan.

Declan Molloy, Joshua's father, told RTÉ: “We are all delighted here.”

“We are jumping with joy to know that he is out.

“You know that Christmas morning feeling, it's a bit like that, when you find your most sought-after present under the tree, the dream present. That's how we feel.”

Mr Molloy spoke with his father on Facebook, who stressed that his son had travelled to the Middle East for humanitarian reasons and is not a mercenary.

Arrangements have been put in place to reunite Mr Molloy with his family in his hometown of Ballylinan, Co. Laois in the coming days.

Charlie Flanagan welcomed the release, which was aided by British diplomats who moved in on the case last week, due to Ireland’s lack of diplomatic presence in Iraq.

“I would like to thank all those who helped to make this early release happen,” he said.

“My department will continue to provide consular assistance in this case.”

The two British citizens who were imprisoned alongside Mr Molloy, Jac Holmes from Bournemouth and Joe Ackerman from Halifax, have also been freed.

The three were held in a prison in the Kurdish city of Erbil for over a week.