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Belfast-based lawyer representing Irish Islamic State bride


Darragh Mackin

Darragh Mackin

Darragh Mackin

The Belfast-based lawyer who secured the release of a 21-year-old Irishman who spent more than four years in an Egyptian prison is now representing Islamic State (IS) bride Lisa Smith.

Darragh Mackin from Phoenix Law announced the firm has been instructed by the Co Louth woman's family to represent the former Irish Army member and her two-year old daughter Rakaya.

The 37-year-old is currently in Ain Issa refugee camp, where she is being held following the collapse of the so-called caliphate.

"We have been instructed by the family of Lisa Smith and her daughter in seeking their immediate repatriation back to Ireland," said Mr Mackin. "As it stands, there are real and immediate concerns for Lisa and her daughter's safety.

"There can be no wiggle room for any further delay. The Irish Government must now act to ensure that both Lisa and her daughter are safely returned to Ireland and reunited with their family."

Despite statements from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that the Irish Government would repatriate all Irish citizens who joined IS, Smith and naturalised Irish citizen Alexandr Bekmirzaev remain in northern Syria.

Head of foreign relations for north eastern Syria, Dr Abdulkarim Omar, said the Irish Government has not contacted the de facto government to repatriate Smith. Mr Mackin said: "The DFA [Department of Foreign Affairs] must ensure that effective procedures are now put in place to ensure the safe return of Lisa and her daughter, as soon as practically possible. Regrettably, time is no longer on their side. Every day that passes, the risk to their wellbeing and safety increase."

The DFA has said that consular assistance will be provided "when it is possible to do so".

Mr Mackin has previously represented Ibrahim Halawa.

In October 2017, Egypt released the Irish-Egyptian man detained for over four years on charges related to a 2013 Muslim Brotherhood protest in Cairo.

The Dubliner's release came about a month after an Egyptian court acquitted him of charges including murder, arson and illegal possession of weapons.

Belfast Telegraph