Under Section 21(15) IPA a country is a first country of asylum for a person if he or she: (a) has been recognised in that country as a refugee and can still avail himself or herself of that protection, or otherwise enjoys sufficient protection in that country including benefiting from the principle of non-refoulement; and (b) will be re-admitted to that country.
An application for international protection is inadmissible if a country is deemed to be a first country of asylum for an applicant. There have been anecdotal reports that persons who have been deemed inadmissible by the IPO may have difficulty accessing legal representation from the Legal Aid Board, however the full impact of the inadmissibility provisions in practice in Ireland remains to be seen.
In July 2019, the Irish High Court referred three questions to the CJEU regarding the application of this concept in M.S. (Afghanistan) v. The Minister for Justice and Equality; M.W. (Afghanistan) v. The Minister for Justice and Equality; G.S. (Georgia) v. The Minister for Justice and Equality, following the Minister’s refusal of the appellants’ applications for international protection on the grounds that they had benefitted from subsidiary protection from another state. Delivering judgment on the 10th of December 2020, the CJEU determined that Article 25(2) of the Procedures Directive 2005 must be interpreted as not precluding the enactment of legislation in a Member State which render inadmissible an application for international protection in circumstances whereby the applicant benefits from subsidiary protection in another Member State.
 M.S. (Afghanistan) v The Minister for Justice and Equality; M.W. (Afghanistan) v The Minister for Justice and Equality; G.S. (Georgia) v The Minister for Justice and Equality; (Approved)  IEHC 477, 2 July 2019, available at: https://bit.ly/2N7aY9z.