Five Irish beaches lose 'blue flag' status over water quality

Five Irish beaches lose 'blue flag' status over water quality

FIVE BEACHES in Ireland have lost their Blue Flag status in the latest awards announced this afternoon.

Overall, the number of Blue Flag beaches in Ireland has increased by two to 85 – with seven beaches that didn’t feature last year getting the award this year.

Meanwhile, there are 10 Blue Flag marinas, which is up one on 2022.

The five beaches that lost their Blue Flag status are:

  • Bray South Promenade in County Wicklow
  • Warren, Cregane Strand in County Cork
  • Traught, Kinvara in County Galway
  • Carrowmore in County Mayo
  • Clare Island in County Mayo.

All five lost the ‘Excellent’ water quality classification necessary for a Blue Flag.

Another 62 beaches have received the Green Coast Award, which recognises shorelines for their clean environment, excellent water quality and natural beauty.

Water quality at all five was classed as ‘Good,’ which is the second-best classification on offer.

One of the world’s most recognised eco-labels, the Blue Flag criteria are set down by the Foundation for Environmental Education – which includes 65 organisations in 60 countries.

The programme aims to raise environmental awareness and promote sound environmental management of beaches, marinas and eco-tourism around the world and beaches must adhere to strict rules to win the award.

The awards were presented by Malcolm Noonan TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Heritage and Electoral Reform at a ceremony Curracloe Beach in County Wexford this afternoon.

Speaking at the awards ceremony Minister Noonan said:

"This year celebrates 35 years of the Blue Flag as an international programme and during that time the Blue Flag has become an internationally recognised symbol of high standards in water quality, environmental management, environmental education and safety. I am pleased to be presenting 95 blue flags and 62 green coast awards today and want to commend the great efforts made by local authorities, An Taisce, coastal communities and volunteers for their work around the country.”

Mr. Ian Diamond, Coastal Awards Manager for An Taisce in announcing this year’s Blue Flag and Green Coast
Award recipients stated:

"We were delighted to be welcomed to the Sunny Southeast today for the opportunity to celebrate the beaches
and marinas awarded for the 2022 season. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to manage a beach or
marina to the excellent standards required by these award programmes. It’s been too long since we’ve had
the opportunity to acknowledge these efforts in person, and I would like to thank all in attendance and our
hosts Wexford County Council for helping us make today’s event worth the wait”.