Saturday 24 March 2018

Kenny insists Snowden cannot not be granted asylum here

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden
Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Michael Brennan, Deputy Political Editor

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has insisted that US computer analyst whistle-blower Edward Snowden cannot not be granted asylum here as applications at Irish embassies abroad are not accepted.

He confirmed to the Dail that Mr Snowden had written to the Irish Embassy in Moscow seeking asylum – as well as to 20 other countries.

But Mr Kenny said the country could only grant asylum to people who had arrived here – and not to people who were applying from asylum from another country.

“Applications at Irish embassies abroad are not accepted,” he said.

Independent TD Clare Daly appealed to Mr Kenny to consider granting him asylum to this “international hero”, saying that he was facing persecution from the US authorities.

She also said the Government had in the past got an Irish passport for former Irish soccer international Tony Cascarino “on the grounds of a fictitious grandmother – so he could be part of Jackie’s Army”.

Mr Kenny said he did not know Mr Cascarino’s grandmother and whether she was fictitious or not. The former Irish soccer international, who was born in England, had received an Irish passport through his Irish grandfather. But he admitted in his autobiography that that his mother had in fact been adopted and was therefore no blood relative to her father. However, the Department of Foreign Affairs said that his mother was entitled to Irish citizenship after she was adopted, so Mr Cascarino was also eligible for an Irish passport.

The US Government has warned countries against accepting Snowden, who they are seeking on charges that he violated the espionage act when gathering and leaking classified documents outlining the National Security Agency's surveillance programmes

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