A senior member of NPHET says Covid-19 variants with no link to international travel have been detected in the State.
It comes as the UK variant of the virus is being blamed for the number of cases plateauing here.
591 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed last night, along with 8 further deaths.
Across Connacht there 21 new cases in Galway, less than five in both Mayo and Sligo and there no new cases in Roscommon or Leitrim.
The 14-day incidence rate now stands at 166 cases per 100-thousand people.
Dr Mary Favier says variants with no link to travel have been discovered in "very small numbers" but it's concerning: