Cork County Council to provide free period products in public libraries

The eco-friendly period products are being provided by Cork-based start-up We Are Riley
Cork County Council to provide free period products in public libraries

The project is funded by the Department of Health and dispensers have been installed in libraries with public toilets. Branches without public toilets are using a box dispenser in a discreet location in the library. Pic: Larry Cummins

CORK County Council Library and Arts Service has launched a pilot initiative that will see free sanitary products made available across its network of 29 branches and mobile libraries. 

The eco-friendly period products are being provided by Cork-based start-up We Are Riley.

The project is funded by the Department of Health and dispensers have been installed in libraries with public toilets. Branches without public toilets are using a box dispenser in a discreet location in the library.

Deputy Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Deirdre O’Brien said: “Unfortunately, period poverty is a real issue in Ireland. 

"There are women and girls in every town and village in Ireland who struggle to afford to buy sanitary products and the increase in the cost-of-living is adding to the situation. Our libraries are a fantastic resource and are easily accessible with our mobile branches regularly visiting remote areas of the county. 

"I’m delighted to see the Library and Arts Service leading the way with this pilot initiative. The dispensers are in the public toilets and discreet areas of libraries so there is no need for people to feel embarrassed about availing of the free period products.” 

Deputy Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Deirdre O’Brien.
Deputy Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Deirdre O’Brien.

Cork County Council has reached out to schools, colleges, youthreach, voluntary and support organisations, GP clinics and family resources centres to raise awareness of the initiative as it gets underway. Leaflets and posters are also being distributed.

We Are Riley was launched in April 2021 and produces 100% certified organic cotton tampons and pads. The products are made in Europe by an ethical manufacturer and come in compostable packaging. Riley is also committed to fighting period poverty, providing free sanitary products as well as sponsoring doctor-led school visits to educate young girls in rural Kenya about menstrual health.

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