A DONEGAL County Councillor has asked that the local authority should make sanitary products available free of charge in all of its buildings.
Councillor Michael Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig believes that sanitary products should also be made freely available in other public buildings such as swimming pools Údarás-owned buildings, national, secondary schools and community centres.
On the back of a recent project by a group of Transition Year students at Rosses Community School Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig brought a motion to this month’s Glenties Municipal District meeting.
“Period poverty is a very real issue in Ireland and the stigma around periods affect many in our community, especially in low income households,” he said.
“It is our responsibility to break down the stigma by providing these items free in all our public buildings.”
Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig proposed that a working group be established to ensure that this plan is enacted.
He added: “The school in Dungloe have done tremendous work on this and we, as a Council, should ask them to send a delegation to talk to the Council about this issue and tacking it.”
“I want this motions to be forward to other Councils across the country.”
The motion was seconded by Councillor Noreen McGarvey.
A team of Transition Year studentss at Rosses CS are promoting a project called “Power of Periods”.
The YSI (Young Social Innovators) are working together to help remove the stigma over periods and try to normalise it for every girl, as it is a very normal thing that every girl has to experience.
“Power of Periods” centres on shattering the stigma around the menstrual cycle and improving access to products.
The students are beginning their quest locally, starting in their own school.
Team members Orlaith McDaid and Sophie O’Donnell told Donegal Daily recently: “We are currently working on providing dispensers for our school bathrooms to provide students with free sanitary products.
“We feel strongly that sanitary products are essential items and are not luxury items. We believe that everyone should have easy access to these products, free of charge, and have dignity and the feeling of privacy when accessing these products.”
The team is also creating an educational pack for National school students to learn about menstruation in an age-appropriate way.