A Donegal County Councillor is calling on the local authority to step up and provide free sanitary products in all public buildings.
Cllr Michael Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig has urged the council to support the endeavours of Rosses Community School students, who are leading a local campaign to address Period poverty.
The campaign seeks to ensure access to sanitary items free of charge in all Donegal County Council buildings, community centres, swimming pools and libraries, for both workers and members of the public.
Cllr Michael Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig told the monthly meet of Donegal County Council that 50% of Irish girls have faced issues around the affordability of period products.
“Our homeless community and those in Direct provision centers do not have adequate access to sanitary items,” he said.
Cllr Mac Giolla Easpuig added that if it were men depending on these products, it would be sorted. He has called on the council to liaise with government agencies and for a committee to be established within the next two months to move the matter forward. His motion called for sanitary items to be available in both male and female and unisex toilets.
“Period poverty is a very real issue in Ireland and the stigmas around periods affect many in our community, especially in low income households. It is our responsibility to help break down this stigma by providing these items free in all of our public buildings. Both Dublin and Cork County council have already passed a motion to provide free sanitary items in their public building and it is important for our communities that Donegal County Council acts immediately and does the same,” Cllr Mac Giolla Easpuig said.
In light of the motion, Donegal County Council said it will contact local authorities who have piloted schemes, with a view to getting more information on the details.