Late Late Show requested Lisa Smith interview, family spokesman says

Islamic State supporter wants to speak publicly to ‘give her version of events’

Islamic State supporter Lisa Smith will not give an exclusive interview to the Late Late Show on her return to Ireland, a spokesman for her family has said.

Independent TD for Louth Peter Fitzpatrick, who is acting as a spokesman for the family of the 38-year-old ex-Defence Forces member, said RTÉ approached him last week asking if Ms Smith will sit for an interview with host Ryan Tubridy.

“I said there is no problem whatsoever. I told them they had to join the queue,” he said on Sunday.

“The bottom line is Lisa will give interviews when she is home but there is no promise of any exclusive interview with the Late Late Show.”


Mr Fitzpatrick said Ms Smith, who is currently in Turkey with her two-year-old daughter, wants to "give her version of the story" and "hold her hands up".

A Late Late Show appearance by Ms Smith would likely give rise to considerable controversy. Producers want to do a “hard news interview” with the Islamic State supporter, an RTÉ source said. “If it happens it will be tough on her. A huge amount of thought will go into what questions to ask her.”

Ms Smith would not be paid for her appearance, another source said.

An RTÉ Television spokeswoman declined to comment.

Turkey has indicated it intends to deport Ms Smith and her child to Ireland in the near future as part of a series of deportations of suspected Islamic State supporters captured by Turkish forces in northern Syria during its recent invasion of the country.

Ms Smith’s family do not know when she will return, Mr Fitzpatrick said, but it will be “sooner rather than later.”

A team of Irish officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs, supported by members of the Army Ranger Wing, were deployed to Turkey in recent weeks to assist in Ms Smith’s repatriation.

She travelled to Syria to join up with Islamic State several years ago where she married and had a child with a man who was later killed. Following the collapse of the Islamic State earlier this year, Ms Smith was detained in refugee camps run by Kurdish forces.

She escaped from a camp in October following the Turkish invasion and made her way north where she was picked up by a Turkish backed militia who handed her over to Turkey.

Ms Smith is expected to be interviewed on her return to Ireland by anti-terrorism gardaí investigating her support for Islamic State.

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime and Security Correspondent of The Irish Times