This week, regional papers lead with stories about the budget, conditions for Ukrainian refugees, and a fire in Castlerea, Co Roscommon.
The Western People leads with a Budget 2023 story: a local Fianna Fáil councillor has sharply criticised his party's budget, stating that it will trigger a wave of immigration from the west of the country.
Achill councillor Paul McNamara has claimed that the budget didn't go far enough to tackle the cost-of-living crisis: "If there isn't a proper intervention now, particularly on the ESB bills and fuel and on the day-to-day living [it'll get wose] because the costs are still going up, food, building materials are all still rising by 10 per cent and 12 per cent."
The Waterford News & Star reports on a new initiative launched in the county which aims to educated about the dangers of drugs.
At the launch, Detective Inspector Donal O'Donoghue told attendees that drugs are "prevalent" within GAA clubs in the country.
"GAA clubs are a reflection of society and there’s no doubt that drugs are prevalent within our GAA clubs, whether we like to hear that or not," he said.
The Laois Nationalist reports on house prices in the county, which have now risen to an average of €250,000 -- a rise of 4.2 per cent in the last three months. The paper also leads with news of a new car park at Slieve Blooms, which is anticipated to solve on-going traffic issues at the beauty spot.
The Nationalist reports on "second-rate" living conditions for Ukrainian refugees living in Co Carlow. The paper reports that 140 refugees living in a former restaurant outside Carlow town have been subjected to overcrowding and sub-par facilities.
The Kildare Nationalist has the story of Newbridge residents protesting the construction of 30 modular homes – set to be used to house Ukrainian refugees – on a basketball court in an estate in the town. Last weekend, 250 residents marched from the basketball court to the town hall to protest the decision.
The Roscommon Herald leads with the story of a major fire at a residential property in Castlerea. The owner of the house, a 93-year-old woman, was taken to a Sligo hospital where she was treated for burns.
The incident has seen renewed calls for the re-opening of Castlerea Fire Station. The elderly woman's niece, Marie Hanmore, has called for the issue to be "urgently revisited".
"I don't want this to happen to another family. My aunt is in hospital, her home has been destroyed, and Castlerea Fire Station is still closed."