Irish drug mule Michaella McCollum Connolly has been released from the Ancon Dos jail in Lima, Peru, after serving only a third of her sentence, but the 23-year-old may have to remain in the country for six more years on parole.  

Melissa Reid, the other half of the so-called ‘Peru Two,' remains in prison.

In August 2013, McCollum Connolly, from Dungannon, Co Tyrone, and Reid, from Scotland, were arrested at Lima Airport for trying to smuggle cocaine worth £1.5 million ($2.1 million) from Peru to Spain.

The women initially claimed that drug lords threatened them and forced them to board the plane to Madrid with 11kg of cocaine hidden inside food packets in their luggage, but the two later pleaded guilty to the crime.

McCollum Connolly and Reid were both sentenced to six and eight months in prison.

McCollum Connolly was released on parole on Thursday night after serving two years and three months.

“I can confirm Michaella has been released from jail and I'm waiting to hear the outcome of the judicial process,” Kevin Winters, McCollum’s attorney, told the Press Association.

“At this stage it remains unclear when Michaella may be eligible to return home,” he added.

“That will be a matter for the court and a pending judicial hearing to determine the conditions of her parole. 

“We are working with her lawyers in Peru and hope to be in a position to clarify further, as soon as possible.”

Irish American Bishop Sean Walsh, who recently visited McCollum Connolly in prison, told the Irish Independent: “She has been granted parole to my very great surprise. She’s going to be granted parole six years and six months.”

“I visited her several days ago. She is of course quite relieved and thankful to god that the course of life has gone this way.

“Probably she will remain in Lima. She will be allowed to work and study if she wants to do that.

“Being on parole means that she only has to check in with the clerk and the prison system office for special and psychological questioning and to ensure that she remains in the country."

Meanwhile, Reid, who has asked for a prison transfer to Scotland rather than parole, remains in prison, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said on Friday: "We continue to provide consular assistance to Melissa Reid. We remain in contact with her family and with the local authorities."

Hopes of home sentence for Michaella McCollum dashed. Prostitution and drug taking rife at remote Ancon facility.