Decision in Lisa Smith UK ban due this week

Terrorism suspect, who is accused of joining Islamic State, was barred from the UK in 2019

Lisa Smith arriving at Dublin District Court in 2020. She is expected to stand trial before the non-jury Special Criminal Court in Dublin next January. Photograph: Alan Betson

Lisa Smith arriving at Dublin District Court in 2020. She is expected to stand trial before the non-jury Special Criminal Court in Dublin next January. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

A UK commission is expected to decide shortly if Irish woman Lisa Smith, accused of joining Islamic State, will be allowed to enter Northern Ireland.

The Dundalk woman is to go on trial in Dublin next year on charges of being a member of unlawful terrorist group Islamic State, also known as Isis, and financing terrorism.

Since 2019, the mother-of-one has been banned from entering the UK, meaning she cannot visit her father and other relatives who live in Belfast.

Ms Smith (39), who served in the Irish Army and Air Corps before travelling to Syria in 2015, has appealed the UK Home Office’s decision to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), which decides on revocations of citizen and related matters.

The Home Office has argued Ms Smith is not entitled to automatic UK citizenship as her father, a UK national, was not married to her mother at the time of her birth.

Ms Smith has argued, through her lawyers, that under the terms of the Belfast Agreement, she is entitled to hold a UK passport and travel freely to Northern Ireland.

Her lawyers also say the British Nationality Act, which was in place at the time of her birth, automatically provides British citizenship to children born to UK fathers.

No date

Ms Smith’s solicitor Daragh Mackin, of the Belfast firm Phoenix Law, said on Sunday they have not been given a date for when the SIAC will come to a decision but that “it is expected in the next few weeks”.

Ms Smith is expected to stand trial before the non-jury Special Criminal Court in Dublin on January 11th, 2022.

She is charged with an offence contrary to the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) which carries a possible 10-year sentence, alleging she was a member of Islamic State from 2015 to 2019.

She is also charged with financing terrorism by sending €800 in assistance, via a Western Union money transfer, to a named man on May 6th, 2015.