Blue Flag Beaches and Marinas 2020
There are Blue Flag beaches all across Ireland. They vary from heavily populated large sandy beaches to remote small rocky beaches. From the spectacular beaches of Donegal in the north west to the welcoming beaches of Wexford in the sunny south east, Ireland’s award beaches have something to offer everyone with; excellent water quality; life guarded swimming areas; world renowned surf and long sandy shores.
The Blue Flag season for beaches in Ireland coincides with the bathing season which runs in 2020 from June 9th to September 15th. Blue Flag sites are only awarded for one season at a time. The marina season extends until May 31st the following year, if the marina operates for 12 months or until the marina closes for the season. These Blue Flag sites have been awarded due to their adherence to a strict number of criteria covering:
- Environmental Information and Education
- Water quality
- Safety and Services
- Environmental Management
During the season inspectors will assess each Blue Flag beach and marina to ensure compliance with the criteria. In Ireland, we are particularly fortunate to have a varied and beautiful coastline with many pristine beaches that are open to the public to enjoy. To ensure their standard we continue to make strident efforts to protect and improve our waters. This will ensure that we, and future generations, can continue to enjoy this wonderful resource.
The following sites were awarded a Blue Flag for the 2020 season but were not in a position to adhere to all programme criteria for the duration of the season:
- A Blue Flag was awarded to Cill Mhuirbhigh on Inis Mór for 2020, but the flag could not be flown until July 8th as due to restrictions in place to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic a lifeguard service could not be provided until this time.
- Courtown in Co. Wexford was awarded the Blue Flag for 2020 season but Wexford County Council took the decision to withdraw the flag prior to the season commencing on foot of the decision to restrict access to the beach. The decision was taken because the sand level at the beach had reduced to the extent that beach is completely covered by water at high tide.
- Barleycove in County Cork was awarded for the 2020 season. The Blue Flag was withdrawn by Cork County Council on 21/8/2020 due to damage to the pontoon access to the beach during Storm Ellen. The access pontoon at Barleycove has had to be removed for repair access to the beach will be restricted until the pontoon access has been repaired.
- Greencastle Marina in County Donegal was awarded for the 2020 season. The Blue Flag was not flown by Donegal County Council due to an inability to meet all Blue Flag criteria during the 2020 season.
- Rathmullan Marina in County Donegal was awarded for the 2020 season. The Blue Flag was withdrawn by Donegal County Council due to the unavailability of electricity within 25m of all berths as required in the Blue Flag criteria for marinas.
- Rosses Point in County Sligo was awarded for the 2020 season. The Blue Flag was withdrawn by Sligo County Council due to the unavailability of recycling facilities for three or more material types within the Blue Flag area as required in the Blue Flag criteria for beaches.