Mass testing is underway in the biggest prison in the country after an outbreak of coronavirus.
Five inmates have tested positive for Covid-19 in the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise in one part of the jail.
They have all been isolated from the rest of the 800 prisoners.
Management of the jail is taking steps to prevent the spread of the virus by testing all inmates and staff.
Local Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley says steps must be taken to ensure it does not spread into the community.
"A lot of people in the area work in the prison - prison officers, the cleaning staff, administrative staff.
"Obviously, there is a huge risk there in terms of it being carried out into the community and the safety of the staff and inmates is a concern."
Mr Stanley said that the prison has moved swiftly to take action to contain the outbreak.
"It is absolutely essential as well that the HSE here in the midlands co-operate fully and provide every assistance to the prison service in terms of limiting this."