Clare County Council’s Rural Development Directorate’s Healthy Clare team have been successful in securing €10,000 funding from the Department of Heath to pilot the Local Authority (LA) ‘Free Period Products’ initiative.
The provision of period products in public buildings is a recommendation of the draft ‘Period Poverty in Ireland’ report by the National Strategy for Women and Girls Committee.
As part of this pilot scheme, free period products (i.e., tampons and period pads) are available in participating Local Authority owned and publicly accessible buildings including Clare Libraries, Active Ennis facilities and each of the Municipal District Offices.
The list of participating sites will be available on the Clare County Council dedicated webpage at: https://yoursay.clarecoco.ie/free-period-products.
The aim of the Local Authority’s ‘Free Period Products’ pilot project in Clare is to:
- Destigmatize periods
- Combat period poverty in the county
- De-gender periods
Ahead of the launch of the pilot project, Cllr Tony O’Brien, Cathaoirleach, Clare County Council, said, “I welcome the availability of free period products in so many of our Local Authority owned and publicly accessible buildings across County Clare. These essential products should be freely available in every bathroom facility in Clare, and I believe this initiative will highlight the need for this to become the norm. I understand that this is a pilot project and I believe it will demonstrate the need for a long-term funding commitment to ensure these products are available in public bathrooms all year round.”
Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council, said, “through the implementation of the ‘Local Authority Free Period Products’ initiative, Clare County Council are acknowledging the importance of supporting actions to address health inequalities like period poverty in our county. As Chief Executive, I’m encouraged to see the continued cross directorate working ethos of Clare County Council particularly in the name of population Health and Wellbeing.”
Cora Gunter, Senior Executive Librarian, Clare Libraries, added, “we in Clare Libraries are delighted to be participating in this worthwhile pilot scheme. Libraries have long been seen as accessible places for all in the community. So, we would like to continue with that tradition and welcome all who need period products to visit their local library to avail of them. I also hope the pilot gets extended.”
Carol Hands, Employee Welfare Officer, Clare County Council, said, “we are delighted to extend the ‘Local Authority Free Period Products’ initiative to the staff of Clare County Council, as well as the public, in our office bathrooms throughout the county.”
Dena McGrath, Healthy Clare Coordinator, Clare County Council, said, “according to the latest Healthy Ireland survey 2022, 24% of people who menstruate have experienced period poverty, with 35% aged between 15 and 24 years old. Period poverty is a real challenge particularly for our younger people and we welcome the opportunity from the Department of Health to pilot the ‘Local Authority Free Period Product’ initiative, helping to address this issue in County Clare.”
For more information on the Local Authority ‘Free Period Products’ pilot project, visit: https://yoursay.clarecoco.ie/free-period-products
Source: Clare County Council