Politicans concerned over Michaela McCollum's celebrity-like treatment

There are fears that celebrating convicted drug smuggler would give the wrong message

Michaella McCollum, Peru Two, Dublin,

Image; Sean Defoe

Politicians in the North are concerned that Michaela McCollum is being treated like a celebrity by the media since returning home from Peru.

The 23-year-old convicted drug smuggler was photographed and filmed as she arrived into Dublin Airport from Lima on Saturday.

She was released from prison on parole in March after serving less than half her almost seven year sentence.

Jim Allister - leader of the TUV party in the North - says treating her like a celebrity gives out completely the wrong message: "I can well imagine that her family would wish to welcome her home, but I think there has to be due regard that she is returning as a convicted person, and as I say that's not something to celebrate. Particularly when there have been so many lives wrecked by drugs in Northern Ireland and elsewhere."

Meanwhile, a play based on the story of drug mules Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid opens in Edinburgh today.