Five Irish beaches have lost their Blue Flag status in the latest list 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.
Another 62 beaches have received the Green Coast Award, which recognises shorelines for their clean environment, excellent water quality and natural beauty.
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.
Water quality at all five was classed as ‘Good,’ which is the second-best classification on offer.
The seven beaches that gained Blue Flag status this year are:
- Trá Inis Oírr in County Galway
- Fountainstown in County Cork
- Youghal Front Strand in County Cork
- Balcarrick, Donabate in Fingal, Dublin
- Rush, South Beach in Fingal, Dublin
- Ballybunnion North Beach in County Kerry
- Ballymoney North Beach, in County Wexford.
The Minister for Heritage Malcolm Noonan presented the awards this afternoon.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
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.
It is operated in Ireland by An Taisce.
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.
Ireland's 85 Blue Flag beaches are:
Clare County Council
- Cappagh Pier, Kilrush
- Mountshannon, Lough Derg
- Spanish Point
- White Strand Doonbeg
- White Strand Miltown Malbay
Cork County Council
- Barley Cove
- Garrylucas, White Strand
- Inchydoney East Beach
- Inchydoney West Beach
- Owenahincha, Little Island Strand
- Youghal, Claycastle
- Youghal, Front Strand
Donegal County Council
- Marble Hill
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council
Fingal County Council
- Balcarrick, Donabate
- Portmarnock, Velvet Strand Beach
- Rush, South Beach
Galway City Council
- Salthill Beach
- Silverstrand Beach
Galway County Council
- An Trá Mór, Coill Rua, Indreabhán
- Bathing Place at Portumna
- Cill Mhuirbhigh, Inis Mór
- Loughrea Lake
- Trá an Dóilín, An Ceathrú Rua
- Trá Inis Oírr (Main Beach)
Kerry County Council
- Baile an Sceilg (Ballinskelligs)
- Ballybunion North Beach
- Ballybunion South Beach
- Banna Strand
- Doire Fhíonáin (Derrynane)
- Fionntrá (Ventry)
- Rossbeigh, White Strand
- White Strand, Caherciveen
Louth County Council
- Port, Lurganboy
- Shelling Hill/Templetown
Mayo County Council
- Dooega Beach, Achill Island
- Dugort Beach, Achill Island
- Elly Bay, Belmullet
- Golden Strand, Achill Island
- Keel Beach, Achill Island
- Keem Beach, Achill Island
- Mullaghroe Beach, Belmullet
- Mulranny Beach
- Ross Beach, Killala
Sligo County Council
- Rosses Point Beach
Waterford City & County Council
- Ardmore Beach
- Clonea Beach
- Counsellors' Strand, Dunmore East
- Dunmore Strand, Dunmore East
- Tramore Beach
Wexford County Council
- Ballymoney North Beach
- Rosslare Strand
Wicklow County Council
- Bray South Promenade
- Brittas Bay North
- Greystones South Beach
Ireland’s 10 Blue Flag Marinas are:
- Kinsale Yacht Club, Cork
- The Royal Cork Yacht Club Marina, Cork
- Kilrush Marina, Clare
- Greencastle Marina, Donegal
- Rathmullan Marina, Donegal
- Fenit Marina, Kerry
- Portmagee Seasonal Pontoon, Kerry
- Quigley's Marina, Killinure Point, Westmeath
- Kilmore Quay Marina, Wexford
- New Ross Marina, Wexford