Dollymount regains status as record 87 flags awarded


Blue Flags have been awarded to 87 beaches and marinas – the largest number in the history of the scheme.

The 84 beaches and three marinas that achieved the accolade had to meet criteria relating to water quality, information provision, environmental education and beach management.

There was good news for Dollymount in Dublin, which regained its Blue Flag after losing it last year. Also in Dublin, Skerries south and Donabate were awarded the Blue Flag for the first time since 1995 and 2007 respectively. Downings in Donegal was given it for the first time since 1999 and the Three Sisters Marina in New Ross, Co Wexford, for the first time.

Claycastle beach and Youghal’s front strand in Cork both lost their flags. Mullaghmore in Sligo missed out because of an ongoing safety issue involving the roaming of livestock on the main beach. Rush South in north Co Dublin was not awarded the flag because of non-compliance with water-quality criteria and Malahide beach lost out over safety concerns.

Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan also announced the winners of the Green Coast Awards, which go to beaches without the necessary infrastructure required for Blue Flag status but deemed exceptional places to visit. Renvyle in Galway and Guillamene Cove in Waterford gained the award, while Arklow south in Wicklow and Dollymount in Dublin regained the status after losing out in 2011. Fountainstown in Cork was awarded for the first time.