A possible outbreak of the Delta variant of COVID-19 has been identified in Athlone, Co Westmeath.
Health officials in the midlands say the outbreak is not yet confirmed as the strain first discovered in India.
However, they're now encouraging anyone who was socialising in Athlone on the evening of Friday June 11th to come forward for a test if they think they may have been exposed to the virus.
The HSE says a number of cases have been linked to socialising 'down by the river, on the west side' that evening, and the cases "may be the Delta variant".
Officials say social distancing advice may not have been followed, while there have also been reports of house parties in the area that night.
It comes as Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has warned there's been a "concerning increase" in cases of the variant in Ireland.
It's believed that up to 20% of cases reported in the last week are associated with the variant, including a number of outbreaks.
The World Health Organisation says there's a 'real chance' the Delta variant will become the dominant strain of COVID-19 in Ireland.
Dr David Nabarro said there's now "plenty of evidence" that the variant is more easily transmitted between people.
He said: "It does seem as though it likes to move around.
"There's a real chance it might become dominant in Ireland, as well as in other European countries.
"I think the Delta variant and other variants will go on threatening to become dominant because they are just so much more easily transmitted.
"But you've got a pretty good system going in Ireland at the moment, and you might be able to hold this new variant at bay for a bit and prevent it from becoming dominant."
Officials in the UK say Delta is now the dominant strain there, with thousands of new cases being reported every week.
It has prompted Boris Johnson's government to postpone the final stage of reopening by a month, despite the country's significant progress in rolling out COVID-19 vaccines.