Free period products to be provided by college to students and staff

Munster Technological University to launch ‘Code Red’ project across its campuses.

Munster Technological University (MTU) is to launch a period dignity project providing free sanitary products to students and staff, at almost 60 “Code Red” locations across its campuses. It is also aiming to tackle period poverty through events, talks and workshops.

Sustainable single use sanitary pads and tampons will be available at MTU campuses from next week. These include Bishopstown campus, the School of Music, the College of Art and Design, and the National Maritime College, as well at at MTU’s two campuses in Tralee in Co Kerry.

It is estimated that Irish women spend an average of €132 on tampons and sanitary towels every year. Around 50 per cent of young Irish women have experienced issues around the affordability of sanitary products, according to

Ellen O’Shea of MTU’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team says that there was a real need for their “Code Red” project.


“Nobody knows another person’s circumstances or whether they can afford the products. If toilet paper is free, then sanitary products should be as well,” she said.

Each Code Red bathroom dispenser is stocked with sustainable single-use sanitary pads and tampons, developed by Irish company We Are Riley.

There are also a limited number of re-usable products available upon request from MTU Students Union Offices, as well as Lidl sponsored packs of sanitary products.

MTU’s Code Red working group, made up of students and staff, was first mooted by Dermot Barry, MTU Technical Officer, after his Union, Unite, started running a Period Dignity campaign in the UK.

“They subsequently reached out to reps in Ireland. I thought that this was a very worthwhile initiative and so I decided to set up a working group.”

Professor Maggie Cusack, MTU President, says providing free sanitary products is another step towards equality across MTU.

“We know that period poverty is real and therefore at MTU we are addressing it. Code Red will make a difference to the lives of our students and staff on the most basic, human dignity, level and will allow students to focus on what really matters while attending third level education – working towards their degree.”