Dollymount Strand in Dublin has lost its Blue Flag because of the water quality at the north Dublin beach. via Creative Commons

Life's a beach: Blue Flag status awarded to eight more than in 2010

82 Irish beaches and two marinas are given Blue Flag status, the highest in years – but there are a few notable absentees.

THE NUMBER OF Irish beaches and marinas awarded Blue Flag status by An Taisce has increased by eight on last year.

Details of the award recipients, released today, showed that a total of 84 Blue Flag awards were given out to Irish locations this year – up from 76 on last year – with 82 beaches and two marinas scooping the award.

A number of Ireland’s more popular beaches which had lost their Blue Flag status in previous years have regained the status, including Tramore in Co Waterford, Portrane in Fingal and Brittas Bay South in Wicklow.

Enniscrone in Sligo, Youghal Front Strand in Co Cork and Ross Killala in Co Mayo also recouped the stats.

There was one high-profile casualty from last year, as Dollymount Strand just north of Clontarf was stripped its status for non-compliance with water quality.

Mullaghmore in Sligo also failed to pick up the award because it did not have a lifeguard, and because of unresolved issues where livestock were able to access the beach.

The two marinas given the award were Killinure Point Marina in Co Westmeath, and Kilmore Quay Marina in Wexford. Dún Laoghaire was not awarded the status as Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council did not apply for it.

The internationally-recognised awards are by An Taisce with support from the Department of the Environment.

The status is awarded based on a beach’s compliance with dozens of international standard criteria like water quality, environmental education and beach management.

Details of this year’s award winners were announced this morning by the Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan.

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