Life behind bars | 

Convicted terrorist Lisa Smith is a ‘model prisoner’ in ‘tough’ Limerick prison

“We do not expect any trouble from her whatsoever.”
Convicted terrorist and former Defence Forces member Lisa Smith. Picture by PA

Convicted terrorist and former Defence Forces member Lisa Smith. Picture by PA© PA

Ali BrackenSunday Independent

Jailed terrorist Lisa Smith is serving her sentence at Limerick Prison, where inmates are subject to a far stricter regime than at the other women’s jail, Dublin’s Dóchas Centre.

Smith, a former soldier from Dundalk, Co Louth, was sentenced on July 22 last to 15 months for membership of the so-called Islamic State. She is the first person convicted by an Irish court of membership in another country of an Islamic terror group.

As she was convicted in the Special Criminal Court, she must serve her sentence in Limerick rather than in the Dóchas Centre. This is despite the Dublin jail being far closer to her Co Louth-based family for visits.

Sources say that, so far, the mother-of-one has been a “model inmate”. She is housed alone in a cell, as are the majority of prisoners in Limerick.

She has been provided with all that is necessary for her to say prayers five times a day, as part of her Islamic faith. The convicted terrorist is also being given Halal food, in line with her religious beliefs.

The ex-soldier spent a month in Limerick Prison in December 2019, after she was extradited back to Ireland from a Syrian refugee camp. She was out on bail since until her recent criminal trial.

“She has been here before and knows the regime,” explained a prison source. “We do not expect any trouble from her whatsoever.”

Conditions in Limerick Prison are said to be not as favourable as those in Dublin’s Dóchas Centre.

Prisoners at Dóchas are accommodated in seven separate houses, each holding 10 to 12 women. There is one larger house which can accommodate 18 prisoners.

Women serving their sentence at Dóchas have keys to their own rooms and enjoy a relaxed regime.

A new women’s prison is almost completed at Limerick, and will be operational by the end of the year.


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