93 of Ireland's beaches and marinas have been given Blue Flags for the 2021 season.
The best things about Ireland is arguably our scenic and often breathtaking coastline. We have always been a nation of avid sea swimmers, which only became more prevalent in the past year. With the arrival of summer, we're buzzing to check out some of the glorious Blue Flag beaches dotted around the country.
The Blue Flag and Green Coast Award sites for 2021 were announced by Ian Diamond, Coastal Awards Manager with An Taisce’s Environmental Education unit this morning in a virtual awards ceremony attended by Local Authorities, marina operators and Clean Coasts groups who volunteer at the beaches receiving Green Coast Awards this year.
The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised eco-labels. Having originated in France, it was launched as an International programme as part of the "European Year of the Environment in 1987. Today, 83 beaches and 10 marinas were awarded the Blue Flag for the 2021 season.
The Blue Flag award is given to beaches and marinas that have excellent water quality as well as other well-maintained standards, such as safety. And it seems like few coastal counties were left out of this year's awards with Blue Flags being given to locations in Louth, Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, Waterford, Cork, Kerry, Clare, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Donegal.
The counties with the most Blue Flags this year are Donegal and Kerry. Meanwhile, Cork has a total of 12 Blue Flag beaches and marinas.
Killiney in Dublin received the flag for the first time since 2016, and Golden Strand in Mayo was also given the Blue Flag status having last received it in 2018.
63 Irish beaches have received the Green Coast Award, an accolade that recognises beaches for having a high environmental quality.