Tanáiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said he does not expect a major breakthrough in the coming days in efforts to bring Lisa Smith and her child home to Ireland.

Minister Coveney said defence forces personnel are working with Turkish authorities and he expects some progress in the coming weeks.

Ms Smith, 38, travelled to Syria three years ago to join the so-called Islamic State.

The Tanáiste said the case is very complex and needs to be treated with confidentiality and sensitivity.

Mr Coveney said his primary concern is with her two-year-old child, who is an Irish citizen.

"We have made a decision to bring both Irish citizens home if we can, and we are working on that," he said. 

"But it is not helpful to give details in relation to what is happening in terms of running commentary. This is a sensitive case, we have a good team in our embassy in Ankara working together with the Turkish authorities to try to make progress in this case.

"I would like to say that we are not likely to see a major breakthrough in the coming days, but I am hopeful that within a few weeks we may be able to make progress."