Six Irish bathing waters found to have "poor" water quality

In the latest EPA report, 93.4% of Irish beaches were found to be up to minimum EU standards

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A number of beaches have been found to have poor quality water for swimming, according to the latest report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Those failing to meet minimum EU standards include Youghal in Cork, Duncannon in Wexford, Ballyloughane in Galway, as well as Loughshinny, Rush South and Merrion Strand in Dublin.

However, 93.4% of Irish beaches were found to be up to EU standards, with 74% of all bathing waters classified as having 'excellent' water quality.

The organisation says that despite receiving a 'poor' classification, Youghal, Duncannon, Rush South, and Ballyloughane have shown noticeable improvements since receiving the same classification in 2014.

Peter Webster from the EPA says despite having poor water quality, the beaches are not out of bounds.

"The problems that we are seeing, with Youghal in particular, is down to the quality of water in that year and that year alone," he explained.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, Peter also explained that bird droppings are among the factors causing the problems at Merrion Strand.

"We have a possible combination of impacts from surface waters, but also from an increasing number of seagull droppings. On a daily basis, seagull poo has ten times more bacteria than human poo," he said. 

Dr Matt Crowe, Director of the EPA’s Office of Evidence and Assessment, added that “despite a cool and, at times, wet and windy summer, the overall quality of Ireland’s bathing waters continues to be extremely good with the stricter standards providing a high level of protection for bathers”.