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Monday 29 May 2023 Dublin: 14°C
# Beaches
Here are the five bathing areas classified as 'poor' in Ireland
95% of bathing waters met or exceeded the minimum required standard.

THE NUMBER OF designated bathing water locations to have met the EU minimum standards last year in Ireland has risen to 140, with over 100 classified as ‘excellent’.

The latest classifications are contained in the EPA’s Bathing Water report, which sets out bathing water quality at 147 locations last summer.

95% of bathing waters met or exceeded the minimum required standard, up from 94% in 2018. Three new bathing waters were classified as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’.

However, waters at five locations failed to meet the minimum standards and were classified as ‘poor’, the same figure as in 2018.

Bathing waters is the term used for beaches and lakes identified as being used by the public for bathing and monitored under regulations.

A further 24 locations were classified as ‘good’, and 9 were classified as ‘sufficient’.

The five locations classified as ‘poor’ were:

  • Merrion Strand, Dublin
  • Portrane (the Brook) Beach, Dublin
  • Ballyloughane Beach, Galway
  • Clifden Beach, Galway
  • Lilliput, Lough Ennell, Westmeath

It is this fifth year in a row that water at Merrion Strand has been classified as ‘poor’ and it will now be declassified as a bathing water this year.

Portrane (the Brook) Beach and Clifden have received a ‘poor’ classification for the past four years.

It is also the second year in a row that Lilliput, Lough Ennell in Westmeath has been classified as ‘poor’, after having received a ‘good’ classification in 2017. 

Bathing water classified as ‘poor’ means there is a risk of microbiological which could potentially cause illnesses like skin rashes or gastric upset.

Local authorities are required to put notices at these areas advising people not to swim there for the entire bathing season.

Three new bathing waters, all in Dublin, were classified for the first time last year.

They were the Forty Foot Bathing Place and White Rock Beach (both classified as ‘excellent’) and Sandycove Beach (classified as ‘good’).

“Ireland has many beautiful beaches. Enjoying these natural amenities can be good for our physical and mental wellbeing, and it is therefore essential that Ireland maintains good bathing water quality,” said Marry Gurrie, programme manager of the EPA.

The EPA has also reminded anyone using or swimming at beaches this year to follow the public health advice, including the government’s roadmap for re-opening the economy, and any local information in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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