By Seoirse Mulgrew
Galway City Council has supported legislation to compel the State to provide period products free of charge in educational settings and public buildings across the country.
A motion was brought by Galway City Councillor, Niall McNelis, in support of the Free Provision of Period Products Bill 2021, which would see free period products being provided to everyone who needs them.
Cllr McNelis described the importance of the Free Provision of Period Products Bill 2021, which is currently before the Seanad.
“I am anxious that this is looked at, it’s a necessity. In a modern day and country this shouldn’t be an issue.”
“From working with schools and homeless communities, they have told me that that period poverty can be a form of embarrassment. But I think no one should be ashamed, it’s a fact of life. 50% of 12 to 19-year-olds have difficulties accessing period products,” he said.
The motion was seconded by Cllr Martina O’Connor and fully supported by all the councillors in attendance.
Cllr McNelis expressed his desire for period products to be made accessible for everyone in order to combat period poverty.
“If Scotland can do it then so can we. I would hope to see in the very near future all public buildings and school facilities able to provide these products free of charge,” he said.
Labour Senator Rebecca Moynihan introduced the legislation in January. She also praised Lidl for its initiative announced this week that it would be the first major retailer to offer free period products in stores nationwide in partnership with Homeless Period Ireland.
“I hope that the Government see that if a private company is willing to take a leap forward on period justice, then it is absolutely possible and incumbent on the State to do so too. Taking a universal approach by investing in period justice will protect the most vulnerable in society and end the unnecessary stigma around periods in Ireland,” she said.
Senator Moynihan also paid tribute to the work of Homeless Period Ireland’s campaigning led by Claire Hunt.
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