Blue Flag awards: is your local beach on the list?

Six beaches conferred with ‘dual’ Blue Flag and Green Coast status

Portmarnock is one of six beaches that  have achieved dual  Blue Flag and Green Coast status. Photograph: Collins

Portmarnock is one of six beaches that have achieved dual Blue Flag and Green Coast status. Photograph: Collins

 

Blue Flags have been awarded to 81 beaches and five marinas around the State’s coastline - six more than last year.

Six of the 81 beaches are also among 58 locations conferred with national Green Coast status by Minister for Environment Alan Kelly on behalf of An Taisce.

Portmarnock, Portrane and Donabate in north Dublin, Salthill and Silver Strand in Galway and Rosses Point in Sligo have secured this “dual status”, according to the environmental organisation.

Wexford’s Ballinesker beach has been given a Blue Flag for the first time, as has the marina at Kinsale Yacht Club, Co Cork, while the coveted status has been regained at Cork’s Redbarn and Garretstown beaches.

Five beaches which lost out last year due to works associated with severe winter storm damage have also regained their flags: Miltown Malbay and Spanish Point in Co Clare, Mulranny and Bertra in Co Mayo and Rossbeigh, Co Kerry.

Wicklow’s Brittas Bay North, Enniscrone, Co Sligo and Skerries south beach in the Fingal area of north Dublin lost their flags due to failure to comply with water quality requirements.

Beaches have to meet a total of 33 criteria for the Blue Flag status, which is administered by An Taisce on behalf of the Foundation for Environmental Education. In the North, 10 beaches and two marinas have been awarded blue-flag status.

Kerry and Donegal are leading counties with a total of 13 Blue Flags, while Mayo has a total of 12 and Clare has a total of nine.

Co Galway’s five beaches retaining Blue Flags include Loughrea lake in the east of the county, while the city retained its two flags at Salthill and Silverstrand.

The five marinas which hold Blue Flags are Killinure in Co Westmeath, Kilmore Quay and New Ross in Co Wexford, the Royal Cork Yacht Club at Crosshaven, and Kinsale, Co Cork.

Green Coast awards, which are given to areas classified as “exceptional places to visit”, were conferred on Bishop’s Quarter and Seafield in Co Clare, for the first time, while Ballyhealy, Ballmoney, Booley Bay, Grange and St Helen’s Bay in Co Wexford also secured this status.

Fingal’s The Burrow and Cork’s Inchydoney East have received Green Coast awards for the first time.

Donegal’s Rathmullan and Sligo’s Enniscrone failed to meet the Green Coast water quality standards, while Ballycastle in Co Mayo and Skerries in north Dublin did not apply to retain their 2014 Green Coast designations.

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly, who presented at total of 144 awards at Ballinskelligs beach, Co Kerry, paid tribute to the “sterling efforts of local authorities, An Taisce and local communities” in ensuring that their beaches “meet the standards of excellence required for a Blue Flag or Green Coast award”.

An Taisce’s coastal programmes manager Annabel FitzGerald noted that those beaches and marinas which “achieved the accolade” had complied with “strict criteria relating to water quality, safety, facilities for visitors, beach management, environmental education and the provision of information”.

She also paid tribute to the volunteers involved in 440 “clean coast” groups, noting that over 500,000 pieces of litter and other items were removed from the marine environment during some 800 beach cleans last year.

blueflagireland.org

Blue Flag beaches 2015

LOUTH

CARLINGFORD

1. Templetown

CLOGHERHEAD

2. Port

3. Clogherhead

DUBLIN

FINGAL

4. Portrane

5. Balcarrick, Donabate

6. Portmarnock

DÚN LAOGHAIRE

RATHDOWN

7. Seapoint

8. Killiney

WICKLOW

NORTH WICKLOW

9. Greystones

ARKLOW

10. Brittas Bay South

WEXFORD

COURTOWN

11. Courtown

MORRISCASTLE

12. Morriscastle

CURRACLOE

13. Ballinesker

14. Curracloe

ROSSLARE

15. Rosslare

WATERFORD

DUNMORE

16. Counsellors’ Strand

17. Dunmore East

TRAMORE

18. Tramore

DUNGARVAN

19. Clonea

CORK

PILMORE

20. Redbarn

BALLINSPITTLE

21. Garrylucas

22. Garretstown

CLONAKILTY

23. Inchydoney

ROSSCARBERY

24. Owenahincha

SKIBBEREEN

25. Tragumna

BARLEYCOVE

26. Barleycove

KERRY

CAHERDANIEL


27. Derrynane

BALLINSKELLIGS

28. Ballinskelligs

CAHERCIVEEN

29. White Strand

30. Kells

ROSSBEIGH

31. Rossbeigh

INCH

32. Inch

33. Ventry

CASTLEGREGORY

34. Magherabeg

FENIT

35. Fenit

ARDFERT

36. Banna

BALLYHEIGUE

37. Ballyheigue

BALLYBUNION

38. Ballybunion South

39. Ballybunion North

CLARE

KILRUSH

40. Cappa Pier

KILKEE

41. Kilkee

DOONBEG

42. Doonbeg

SPANISH POINT

43. Spanish Point

MILTOWN MALBAY

44. Miltown Malbay

LAHINCH

45. Lahinch

BALLYVAUGHAN

46. Fanore

KILLALOE

47. Ballycuggeran

MOUNTSHANNON

48. Mountshannon

GALWAY

LOUGHREA

49. Loughrea Lake

KINVARA

50. Traught

GALWAY CITY

51. Salthill

52. Silver Strand

INDREABHÁN

53. Trá Mhór

AN CHEATHRÚ RUA

54. Trá an Dóilin

CILL RÓNÁIN, ARAN

55. Cill Mhuirbhigh

MAYO

LOUISBURGH

56. Carrowmore

MURRISK

57. Bertra

CLARE ISLAND

58. The Harbour

MULRANNY

59. Mulranny

ACHILL

60. Dooega

61. Keel

62. Keem

63. Dugort

64. Golden Strand

BELMULLET

65. Mullaghroe

66. Elly Bay

67. Ross Killala

SLIGO

SLIGO

68. Rosses Point

DONEGAL

BUNDORAN

69. Bundoran

ROSSNOWLAGH

70. Rossnowlagh

LAGHY

71. Murvagh

KILLYBEGS

72. Fintra

NARAN

73. Naran/Portnoo

ANAGARY

74. Carrickfinn

DUNFANAGHY

75. Killahoey

76. Marblehill

ROSGUILL PENINSULA

77. Downings

78. Magherwarden

Portsalon

FAHAN

79. Lisfannon

CULDAFF

80. Culdaff

STROOVE

81. Stroove

Blue Flag marinas 2015

WEXFORD

1. Kilmore Quay

Marina

2. New Ross ‘Three

Sisters’ Marina

CORK

3. Royal Cork Yacht

Club

4. Kinsale Yacht Club

WESTMEATH

5. Killinure Point marina

Northern Ireland Blue Flag beaches

DERRY

LIMAVADY

1. Magilligan (Benone)

CASTLEROCK

2. Downhill

3. Castlehill

PORTSTEWART

4. Portstewart

ANTRIM

PORTRUSH

5. Portrush (Mill) West

6. Portrush (Whiterocks

BANGOR

7. Crawfordsburn

DOWNPATRICK

8. Tyrella

NEWCASTLE

9. Murlough Beach

KILKEEL

10. Cranfield Bay

Northern Ireland Blue Flag marinas

ANTRIM

BALLYCASTLE

1. Ballycastle Marina

DERRY

MAGHERAFELT

2. Ballyronan Marina