Irishman jailed after fighting IS freed from Kurdish prison

Irishman jailed after fighting IS freed from Kurdish prison
Joshua Molloy. Picture: Facebook

An Irishman held in a Kurdish jail for crossing the border illegally from Syria after fighting against the Islamic State has been freed.

Joshua Molloy from Ballylynan, Co Laois, a former Royal Irish Regiment soldier, was incarcerated along with two British citizens who fought alongside forces trying to defeat the terror organisation.

Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan confirmed the release.

"I welcome Joshua's release and I am pleased that he is now on his way home to join his family in Ireland," he said.

"I would like to thank all those who helped to make this early release happen. My department will continue to provide consular assistance in this case."

The three were held together in a prison in Erbil after being detained as they tried to cross in Kurdistan on their way home from fighting ISIS in Syria.

Declan Molloy, Joshua's father, said emotions in the family were running wild.

"We are all delighted here. We are jumping with joy to know that he is out," he said.

"You know that Christmas morning feeling, it's a bit like that, when you find your most sought-after present under the tree, the dream present. That's how we feel."

Mr Molloy said Mr Flanagan broke the news to him in a phone call late last night.

He spoke to his son this morning via Facebook and reported that he was "fine" but felt that he would need some time alone after his ordeal.

It is not clear when the 24-year-old former Royal Irish soldier will be home.

Mr Molloy has repeatedly insisted that his son is not a mercenary or a freedom fighter, but that he had travelled to Syria last year for humanitarian reasons.

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