Congratulations to the Student Council of Bandon Grammar who officially launched their school’s water filtration system last week and raised a glass to celebrate becoming one of the first schools in the country to have access to fluoride free water.

The initiative was initially tabled within the Student Council in late 2015 over concerns relating to the state of the local water supplies in Bandon but with particular concerns relating to the continued practice of dosing the local water supplies with hexafluorosilicic acid (fluoride) to treat dental caries which the Student Council objects to on the grounds of choice. The Student Council’s decision received the unanimous support of the school’s principal, Mr Ian Coombes and the School Board of Management.

Vice-Chair of the Student Council Ms Claire Roche in delivering a statement on behalf of the Student Council said;

“As representatives of the Bandon Grammar Student Council, we are delighted to announce today that a filter has been installed in our school which will give all students at Bandon Grammar access to clean and safe drinking water.

During presentations by representatives of The National Fluoride Free Towns Project and local environmental scientist, Mr. Declan Waugh, students were shocked to hear that regulatory authorities have failed to consider the combined bioaccumulative effect of fluoride exposure on the general population from various sources including water, food, tea, medicine, and toothpaste amongst other sources which is likely to exceed safety thresholds in the case of a significant proportion of the population around the country. We were also concerned to learn the IDA (Irish dental Association) reported in 2012 some 38% of 15 year olds in Ireland suffer from dental fluorosis which is likely represented in our school, bearing in mind the legislation was cleared for implementation by the Irish High Court and Supreme Court on one of the conditions that no citizen would suffer fluorosis, damage or harm to their teeth and we are further concerned to hear the policy continues to receive official sanction despite the fact that the FSAI (Food Safety Authority of Ireland) are currently investigating the effect of fluoride exposure on the developing foetus which appears to call into question the safety of fluoridation.

We note significant political support in recent years for an end to fluoridation in Ireland where the former Town Council of Bandon and every West Cork Town Council passed motions calling for the policy to be scrapped which was supported in 2014 by Cork County Council and Cork City Council which was part of a concerted national effort calling on the Government to scrap water fluoridation with immediate effect.

In light of the above which has not been acted on or has been disregarded by Government, we intend on writing to our 3 local West Cork TDs requesting they jointly table a cross party motion in Dail Eireann where the policy would hopefully be repealed by the country’s senior legislators.

Finally, we wish to thank our principal Mr Ian Coombes and school board of management for financially supporting our request to have a filter installed and we hope this is the first of many positive steps which will ensure future generations of students have access to safe and clean drinking water at Bandon Grammar and other schools nationwide.”

• Fluoride Free Towns Facebook page at