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Three Irish beaches lose Blue Flag status while two get them for first time

Bray South Promenade got its flag back after 17 years.

Image: Naoise Culhane

THREE IRISH BEACHES have lost their Blue Flag status for superior swimming water.

Killiney in South Dublin, Balcarrick in Donabate in Fingal and Lisfannon in Donegal were all dropped from the list.

A record 88 Blue Flags were handed out this year, up three on 2016. The 81 beaches and 7 marinas that achieved this accolade adhere to specific criteria related to water quality, information provision, environmental education, safety and site management.

The Blue Flag will be raised for the first time at both Portumna in Galway and at Greencastle Marina in Donegal, while Bray South Promenade got its flag back after 17 years.

Redbarn and Garretstown in Cork and Ross in County Mayo regained Blue Flag status lost in 2016.

The Blue Flag requires applicants to achieve an annual classification of ‘Excellent’, the highest rating achievable under current bathing water legislation.

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The programme aims to raise environmental awareness and promote sound environmental management of beaches, marinas and inland bathing waters around the world.

An Taisce – The National Trust for Ireland is responsible for the operation of the Blue Flag programme in Ireland on behalf of the Foundation of Environmental Education (FEE).

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