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Get your bucket and spade: More Irish beaches get Blue Flag status

More than 76 beaches and four marinas were awarded the prestigious Blue Flag award, an increase of six since last year.

Esther McGovern and Lynsey Fennell from Palmerstown Dublin enjoying the hot weather on Portmarnock beach last summer.
Esther McGovern and Lynsey Fennell from Palmerstown Dublin enjoying the hot weather on Portmarnock beach last summer.
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

THERE HAS BEEN an increase in the number of Blue Flag awards this year, with a total of 134 awards being given.

More than 76 beaches and four marinas were awarded the prestigious Blue Flag award representing an increase in six Blue Flag awards since 2013.

Meanwhile, 54 beaches in Ireland were awarded the Green Coast Award representing an increase in nine awards.

Eight Blue Flags were regained in four Local Authority areas.

Four Blue Flags were regained in Portmarnock, Portrane, Donabate and Skerries South Beach in Fingal.

Water quality

Morriscastle in Wexford and Ballybunion North in Kerry regained their Blue Flags after failing to comply with water quality criteria in 2013.

In Waterford, two Blue Flags were regained in Councellors Strand and Dunmore Strand.

Blue Flag applications were received for 81 beaches in total, however five beaches were not awarded the Blue Flag due to ongoing works to repair extensive damage caused by the Spring storms.

Dog’s Bay in Galway lost the Green Coast Award due to considerable infrastructural damage at the beach as a result of the storms.

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First timers

Trá gCaorach Inis Oirr in Galway and Kilfrassey in Waterford have been awarded the Green Coast Award for the first time.

The Green Coast Award recognises beaches for their clean environment, excellent water quality and natural beauty. These beaches may not have the necessary built infrastructure required to meet the criteria set for Blue Flag status.

These beaches were Bertra and Mulranny in Mayo, Rossbeigh in Kerry and Miltown Malbay and Spanish Point in Clare.

An Taisce announced the International Blue Flag Award and the National Green Coast Award recipients today, where the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan siad: 

I am pleased to say that a total of 134 beach and marina awards will be made today. This represents an increase of 15 on the 2013 awards and is testament to efforts of communities, local authorities and An Taisce and the sterling work they do. Results might even have been better except for the devastation of the storms last winter which caused significant damage in some areas.

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