Swimmers and sunbathers on Portmarnock beach enjoy the long-running fine weather. The expectation of a bumper year for water quality could be scuppered by beach-goers – Fingal County Council collected 3,000 bags of rubbish left on beaches last weekend, for example. Photograph: Alan Betson

Surfers and hardy souls will scoff, but given the poor summers of recent years the quality of beach water has been somewhat irrelevant for most people(...)