Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said it is impossible for Ireland to offer asylum to the whistleblower Edward Snowden for the time being.
Mr Kenny this afternoon confirmed that Snowden had written seeking asylum to the Irish embassy in Moscow, where he has been staying in an airport.
The Taoiseach told the Dáil that Irish law only allowed asylum applications if the applicant was already present on Irish soil.
Independent TD Clare Daly however said loopholes had been exploited in the past.
"I seem to remember that it was deemed sufficiently important to get an Irish passport for Tony Cascarino on the grounds of a fictitious grandmother so he could be part of Jackie's army," she said.