OFFICIAL FIGURES indicate that the bulk of those claiming asylum status in the Republic in the past 12 months came here from Britain and arrived across the Border with Northern Ireland.
According to figures supplied by Minister for Justice Brian Lenihan, in response to a parliamentary question from Labour Justice spokesman Pat Rabbitte, more than 90 per cent of asylum seekers were already in this State when they first applied for asylum.
The figures show that 3,844 people sought asylum in the Republic in the 12 months to the end of March. Of that number, 3,248 made their first application for asylum at the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner on Mount Street in Dublin, and not at their point of entry into the State.
Of this number, only 12 sought asylum at ports, and 304 made their application at airports. A further 244 sought asylum from prison after they were jailed for committing an offence in this State.