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Dublin: 19 °C Sunday 21 July, 2019
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Here are the five bathing areas classified as 'poor' in Ireland

The classifications are contained in the EPA Bathing Water report for 2018.

File photo of someone jumping in at the Forty Foot at Sandycove, Dublin.
File photo of someone jumping in at the Forty Foot at Sandycove, Dublin.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

A TOTAL OF 137 designated bathing water locations out of 145 checked met the EU minimum standards last year in Ireland, with over 100 classified as Excellent. 

In 2018, five bathing locations failed to meet the minimum standards, with five classified as Poor, down from seven the previous year.

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

The classifications are contained in the EPA Bathing Water report, which sets out bathing water quality during the long hot summer of 2018. 

In total, 94% of bathing waters met the minimum EU standards, including 103 designated Excellent. 

A further 22 locations were classified as Good, with 12 being classified as Sufficient 

Of the locations classified as Poor, three of these are in Dublin:

  • Sandymount Strand
  • Merrion Strand 
  • Portrane (the Brook) Beach 

The remaining two are Lilliput (Lough Ennell) in Co Westmeath and Clifden in Co Galway.

Local authorities will be required to put notices at these areas advising people not to swim there. 

Sandymount Strand has been classified as Poor for the past two years. Portrane (the Brook) Beach and Clifden have received a Poor classification for the past three years.

This is the fourth year that Merrion Strand has been classified as Poor, while Lilliput (Lough Ennell) had a Good classification in 2017 that deteriorated to Poor in 2018.

Three new bathing waters, Dooey and Magheraroarty in Donegal and Seafield Quilty in Clare, were classified for the first time in 2018. All three were classified as Excellent. 

“It is great to see local authorities identifying new bathing waters with excellent water quality,” said Andy Fanning, programme manager of the EPA’s Office of Evidence and Assessment. 

At the other end of the scale, we have five bathing waters that have been classified as Poor. More intensive action needs to be taken by local authorities to address the issues and protect the health of bathers. 

You can view the full list of bathing water locations on the EPA’s website

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About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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