THE LIVES of Irish officials will not be endangered in order to help ISIS bride Lisa Smith and her two-year-old daughter escape a Syrian refugee camp.
That’s according to Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan who told RTE’s Today with Sean O’Rourke that while the State is working on ways to provide consular assistance to the Co Louth native, they would not be sending any representatives to Syria.
“This is a very sensitive issue,” he explained. “But I will say that anybody that goes to Syria or anybody that’s engaging with Isis, doesn’t act as a tourist or doesn’t go there on their holidays.
“There is a child involved and my understanding is that consular assistance has been requested of the Irish state in respect of a woman and child.
“However, it’s fair for me to say we won’t be sending people to Syria. We won’t be endangering the lives of any of our citizens.
“Consular assistance was sought and we are working out the modalities as to how best that assistance can be provided, having regarded the fact that it will not be directly provided by Irish officials.
“We would be relying on the good will of others be it the Americans, the French, anybody involved in the region but we will not be going in.”
Smith recently spoke to BBC Radio 4 about her desire to return home to Ireland, insisting that she was no “terrorist” and had never even picked up a gun during her time in the region.
She also refuted claims she trained up young girls for ISIS as part of her role and insisted she is “not going to kill anyone” if she returns to Ireland.
Despite her pleas, Flanagan was keen to stress that, in the event she did return, a full investigation would be required amid “grave and serious security concerns.”
“I’m the Minister for justice, my fundamental duty and obligation is the protection of our citizens here in this State.
“And I would expect that if anybody comes back from that region that will be required to cooperate fully with the rule of law here.”