The Irish Blood Transfusion Service is appealing to people to donate blood in an effort to bolster depleted supplies nationally.

Extra clinics are being put on across the country this month to ensure the service can meet the demand coming from hospitals.

"Nationally there is between four and five days' stock of the main blood groups. There needs to be seven days," said Chief Executive of the Irish Blood Transfusion Board Andy Kelly.

He called on people to donate blood if they can and asked donors "to do something positive and make a donation which will save up to three lives".

Traditionally January tends to be a difficult month for the IBTS as people are out of routine and trying to get through the month after Christmas.

Details of the locations and times of extra clinics being operated by IBTS are available on the organisation’s website.