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After serving a three-year prison sentence in a hard-core South American jail, convicted drug-smuggler Michaella McCollum has this evening returned to Ireland. 

The 23-year-old left Peru on Friday evening and landed in Dublin via London in the last hour.

Waiting media were on site to ask Michaella questions about her release, but the Northern Irish woman had no comment to make. 

Senior Newstalk reporter Sean Defoe captured the moment she walked from the terminal on Twitter.

Along with UK-national Melissa Reid, McCollum was arrested in August 2013 at Lima Airport with 11kg of cocaine hidden in their luggage and disguised as food packets. 

The Irish-woman was released on parole in March this year after serving less than half her six-year, eight-month sentence.

Reid arrived back to her native Scotland in June.

In a controversial interview with RTE shortly after her release, Michaella said the decision to transport drugs from Peru back to Europe was a "moment of madness".

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Less than three years after her arrest for attempted drug smuggling, Tyrone woman Michaella McCollum has been freed from prison. 

The 23-year-old has been released on parole from the Ancon Dos prison in Lima, but the terms of her release mean that she may have to remain in Peru for anywhere up to six years.

"Michaela McCollum was released from prison at 5pm last night following a successful application for parole," legal firm KRW Law said via a statement this morning.

“She has NOT been released under any repatriation scheme or other protocol between Peru and the UK."

Michaella, from Dungannon, Co Tyrone was arrested at Lima Airport in August 2013, along with Scottish woman Melissa Reid. The pair were found attempting to fly to Madrid with 11kg of cocaine hidden inside food sachets in their luggage. Both received jail sentences of six and a half years.

Irish-American Bishop Sean Walsh visited Michaella in prison a few days ago, and confirmed to media today that she has indeed been allowed to leave.

“She has been granted parole to my very great surprise. She’s going to be granted parole six years and six months,” he told the Irish Independent.

"She is of course quite relieved… Probably she will remain in Lima. She will be allowed to work and study if she wants to do that."

Michaella was freed under new legislation on early prison release introduced in Peru last year.

She has served two years and three months of her full sentence.

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