Six Irish beaches fail to meet bathing water standards

A vast majority (93%) of bathing spots in the country meet strict EU standards

Six Irish beaches fail to meet bathing water standards

File photo. Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Six beaches in Ireland are classified as 'poor' in the latest report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on bathing water quality.

The figures show that three of the six (Brook Beach in Portrane, Merrion Strand, and Loughshinny) were located in Dublin, while the remaining three (Clifden, Ballyloughane, and Trá na bhForbacha) were in Galway.

Overall the quality of Ireland’s bathing waters remains very good, with 130 of 140 meeting strict EU standards.

120 of those were classed as either 'excellent' or 'good', with the remaining ten deemed to be of 'sufficient' quality.

According to the EPA, the beaches that failed to meet standards will have either ‘advice against bathing’ or ‘bathing prohibition’ restrictions in place for this year's bathing season. They will also be routinely monitored.

However, it notes: "The public can still access and use these beaches but are advised to check current water quality either via the Splash website, on bathing water notice boards at the beach, or from the relevant local authority."

Peter Webster from the EPA - who was lead author of the report - says people should not be overly concerned about the six beaches that failed.

He explained: "The important thing to realise is that they're poor because they don't meet the standard set down in the bathing water regulations. That doesn't necessarily mean that it's not safe to swim there.

"The bathing water quality can vary hour-by-hour, let alone day-by-day. These rankings are an average of four years worth of monitoring."