No applications from abroad allowed sanctuary in Ireland
WHISTLEBLOWER Edward Snowden cannot be granted asylum in Ireland because a person needs to be in the country before submitting an application.
The Department of Justice has said there are "no exceptions" to that law.
The former US spy agency contractor is wanted by US authorities for espionage. Snowden, who revealed the secret electronic surveillance programme Prism, has applied for political asylum in more than 20 countries worldwide.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny confirmed to the Dail that Mr Snowden had written to the Irish embassy in Moscow seeking asylum.
But Mr Kenny said: "Applications at Irish embassies abroad are not accepted."
A spokesperson for the Department of Justice, which deals with asylum cases here, also confirmed that under current legislation, Ireland could not accept any request from an asylum seeker who was outside the jurisdiction.
Independent TD Clare Daly appealed to Mr Kenny to consider granting asylum to the "international hero".