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'lead by example' Sinn Féin senator calls on Government to provide free period products

Dublin-based Lynn Boylan praised Lidl for providing free sanitary pads and tampons

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Former Sinn Fein MEP Lynn Boylan has a seat in the Seanad

Former Sinn Fein MEP Lynn Boylan has a seat in the Seanad

Former Sinn Fein MEP Lynn Boylan has a seat in the Seanad

The Government need to step up and provide free sanitary products in schools and public buildings, a Sinn Féin senator has said.

Dublin-based Sinn Féin politician Lynn Boylan has raised concern about the stigma surrounding period poverty and has called for the Government to provide free period products in public buildings.

This comes after Lidl Ireland announced yesterday that they were launching an initiative in which customers could claim a free box of sanitary pads or tampons through their Lidl Plus app each month from May 3rd.

They are set to become the world’s first major retailer to do so and are working in collaboration with Homeless Period Ireland and the Simon Community.

Senator Boylan, who has been a volunteer with Homeless Period Ireland for the past three years, has praised Lidl’s monumental step to squash period poverty and end the stigma surrounding menstruation.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, she said: “Lidl have announced this and I think it’s a fantastic initiative by them and they deserve to get all the credit that’s there because they stepped up to the plate in doing something that the government should be doing.”

The Sinn Féin politician told sundayworld.com that Government needs to “lead by example” and follow in Lidl’s footsteps.

She said: “By providing products universally in bathrooms, it eliminates the stigma and shame that there is regarding periods. In order to get to a point of universal access, the Government needs to lead by example by providing them in schools and public buildings.

“Only then will their provision be normalised like toilet roll and other workplaces and businesses will follow,” she added.

Senator Boylan explained that the Dáil has produced a report with suggestions on how to solve the issue of period poverty, but the Government have called for further research and studies to be conducted.

She continued that concern has been raised about the possible abuse of free sanitary products if they were to be provided in public spaces.

“Regarding abuse of free provision, South Dublin County Council had similar concerns when they rolled out free products in their bathrooms and of course their concerns were unfounded,” Ms Boylan said.

“People use what they need, if they need them, in exactly the same way they use loo roll!”

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