The Department of Defence is in talks with the Department of Justice about the provision of asylum seeker accommodation.

It has emerged as one of a range of options being examined by the Government, which is coming under pressure to cater for a rising number of people claiming international protection in Ireland.

Internal Department of Justice documents obtained by RTÉ's This Week, show that the two departments began discussions earlier this year about the prospect of defence property being used for asylum seeker housing.

The Department of Defence has a significant bank of land spread around the country, including current and former Defence Forces accommodation, and training and warehousing facilities.

However, the memo does not specify what locations or property types are being discussed for use as accommodations for persons seeking international protection in Ireland.

Minister of State with Responsibility for Immigration David Stanton last week told the Irish Times that the department was looking at the possibility of using State-owned land to cater for the growing demand for asylum accommodation, as an alternative to the current approach where most asylum accommodation was provided via the private sector and on privately owned property.

The documents show that these discussions have been ongoing since at least the end of January, when the talks between the two departments were first noted.

The memos, which were obtained under Freedom of Information, are minutes of the meetings of the Department of Justice's high-level Civil, Justice and Equality executive board.

The minutes for the meetings up to the middle of the summer of this year show that the department has devoted considerable time to discussing the emerging issue of demand for accommodating asylum seekers.

In February, the committee noted that new claims for international protection were around 25% higher for January of this year than they were for the same month a year earlier.

By March, the committee was discussing the need to move away from the procurement model of providing asylum accommodation; and was discussing ways of trying to reduce the asylum application time - all in a bid to take some pressure from the growing accommodation issue.

Responding to a query from RTÉ News, the Department of Justice confirmed that it was in ongoing talks with the Department of Defence, but it said these were at an early stage, and it said that no lands had been taken into their possession to date.

It went on to say that it was considering all options for the provision of asylum accommodation, and this included discussions with other State bodies also in control of public lands.