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Dublin: 2°C Saturday 27 November 2021

Did your local beach get a Blue Flag this year? The list has been announced

Donegal had the most Blue Flags this year.

Rosses Point beach in Sligo.
Rosses Point beach in Sligo.
Image: Shutterstock/lonndubh

A TOTAL OF 90 Irish beaches and marinas have been awarded Blue Flags this year, equaling the all-time record

The 80 beaches and 10 marinas is two greater than last year. 

The Blue Flag award is given to beaches and marinas that have excellent water quality and also maintain other standards including safety standards.

It is an international award which is operated in Ireland by An Taisce. When the first awards were presented in 1988 only 21 flags were awarded. Beaches that receive the award follow specific criteria related to water quality, information provision, environmental education, safety and site management.

Capture Source: Blue Flag

(Click here to see the full-sized image)

The county with the most Blue Flags this year is Donegal, with 12 beaches and two marinas

Ballybunion North beach failed to achieve a water quality rating sufficient to obtain Blue Flag status, while due to lower-than-normal sand levels, Wexford County Council had to withdraw the Blue Flag awarded to Courtown beach. 

At Cil Mhuirbhigh on Inis Mór, the Covid-19 restrictions meant that it was not possible for a lifeguard to be stationed at the beach for the bathing season – meaning the flag had to be withdrawn. 

However, if those factors change at the Wexford and Galway beaches they will be allowed to fly Blue Flags this year.

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Sixty Irish beaches were also recognised with Green Coast awards, which recognise beaches that have a high environmental quality. 

Youghal Claycastle in Cork this year achieved Blue Flag status for the first time since 2011, while Bertra in Mayo and Bundoran in Donegal regained the Blue Flag they had lost in 2019. 

This summer, many of the Blue Flag beaches will not receive anything like the normal level of visitors as Covid-19 travel restrictions remain in place.   

Currently, people are only permitted to travel within their own county or 20km from home – meaning beaches are out of reach for many. 

The full list of Blue Flag beaches can be viewed here.

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