Mr Phil Hogan T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, today (7 June 2012) welcomed the delegates from the Foundation for Environmental Education, the international umbrella organisation that promotes environmental education for sustainable development. It is currently holding its general assembly inDublinand celebrating 25 years of the international Blue Flag programme.
Presenting the Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards at a ceremony at Portmarmock, Co. Dublin, the Minister was delighted with the highest ever number of Blue Flags being awarded this year, since the programmes was introduced in Ireland in 1988.
‘The Blue Flag is a clear signal of quality and is something to be cherished. I am delighted to announce that today we will be awarding a record breaking total of 87
Blue Flags, to beaches that have achieved excellent water quality and a very high standard across a wide range of other criteria, including environmental education, management of the environment, safety and other services’, the Minister said
The Minister went on to say that ‘The Blue Flag programme has been operating in Ireland since 1988 and in the intervening period has become a highly respected, internationally recognised eco-label of huge significance to the local communities and the tourism sector alike.
Minister Hogan was pleased that Dollymount regained its flag. According to the Minister, ‘a capital city holding a blue flag is a truly significant achievement, and the stakeholders are to be commended for their sterling efforts’. The Minister was particularly happy that New Ross Marina secured its maiden flag. The location is contiguous with the Minister’s inland constituency and he hoped it was the first of many for the historic Wexford town.
55GreenCoastawards were presented for 2012. Introduced in 2008, theGreenCoastawards are given to beaches which have excellent water quality but which may be less developed than Blue Flag beaches. TheGreenCoastprogramme covers the whole coastline ofIrelandand is facilitated through a partnership between An Taisce, Tidy Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government has provided funding to An Taisce to support the nationwide roll-out of the awards and the authorities inNorthern Irelandhave similarly provided funding there. The programme is also sponsored by FáilteIrelandand Coca-Cola.
An important aspect of the Green Coast Awards is the involvement of Coastcare Volunteer Groups. There are now nearly 200 active Coastcare groups established throughout the island. The Minister paid tribute to the work of these groups stating that they “provide a strong indication of the dedication that individuals have to the improvement of their communities and surroundings”.
‘Not only do these programmes help to improve our beaches but they also raise general awareness and understanding of environmental issues. Recipients should be enormously proud of their efforts in achieving the hard won awards received today’, the Minister concluded.ENDS NOTES TO THE EDITOR
87 Blue Flags are being awarded in 2012. This is the highest number of Blue Flags being awarded inIrelandin the history of the Blue Flag Programme.
84 Blue Flag beaches and 3 marinas.Blue Flags are gained at;
Downings in Donegal, first time since 1999
Blue Flags are lost at;
- Skerries South in Fingal, first time since 1995
- Donabate in Fingal, first time since 2007
- Dollymount inDublinCityhas regained its Blue Flag after losing it in 2011.
- New Ross Marina in Wexford had been awarded the Blue Flag for the first time.
Youghal Front Strand inCorkfor non-compliance with water quality criteria.
- Claycastle inCorkfor non-compliance with water quality criteria.
Blue Flag Awardees
| Local Authority || Beach || Details |
| Bundoran Town Council || Bundoran || Bundoran |
| Donegal || Murvagh || Donegal County Council is being awarded 13 Blue Flags this year. Downings will be in receipt of a Blue Flag for the first time since 1999. |
| Donegal || Rossnowlagh |
| Donegal || Naran |
| Donegal || Carrickfinn |
| Donegal || Killahoey |
| Donegal || Marblehill |
| Donegal || Portsalon |
| Donegal || Lisfannon |
| Donegal || Culdaf |
| Donegal || Stroove |
| Donegal || Fintra |
| Donegal || Downings |
| Sligo || Enniscrone || Sligo County Council is being awarded 2 Blue Flags. Mullaghmore is not being awarded the Blue Flag as there is an ongoing issue with livestock roaming on the beach. |
| Sligo || RossesPoint |
| Mayo || Carrowmore || Mayo County Council is being awarded 13 Blue Flags. |
| Mayo || Oldhead |
| Mayo || Bertra |
| Mayo || Mulranny |
| Mayo || TheHarbourClareIsland |
| Mayo || Dooega |
| Mayo || Keel |
| Mayo || Keem |
| Mayo || Dugort |
| Mayo || GoldenStrand |
| Mayo || Mullaghroe |
| Mayo || Elly Bay |
| Mayo || Ross Killalla |
| Galway || Loughrea || Galway County Council retains 6 Blue Flags. |
| Galway || Traught Kinvara |
| Galway || Ceibh an Spidéal |
| Galway || Trá Mhór Indreabhan |
| Galway || Trá an Doilín Carraroe |
| Galway || Cill Mhuirbhigh |
| GalwayCity || Salthill || GalwayCityretains 2 Blue Flags. |
| GalwayCity || Silverstrand |
| Clare || Cappagh || Clare County Council retains 8 Blue Flags. |
| Clare || Kilkee |
| Clare || Doonbeg |
| Clare || WhiteStrand Miltown Malbay |
| Clare || Lahinch |
| Clare || Fanore |
| Clare || Ballycuggeran |
| Clare || Mountshannon |
| Kerry || Derrynane || Kerry County Council retains 13 Blue Flags. |
| Kerry || Ballinskelligs |
| Kerry || WhiteStrand |
| Kerry || Kells |
| Kerry || Rossbeigh |
| Kerry || Inch |
| Kerry || Ventry |
| Kerry || Fenit |
| Kerry || Magherabeg |
| Kerry || Banna |
| Kerry || Ballyheigue |
| Kerry || Ballybunion S |
| Kerry || Ballybunion N |
| Cork || Redbarn || Cork County Council is being awarded 9 Blue Flags having lost Blue Flags for Youghal and Claycastle because of non-compliance with water quality criteria. |
| Cork || Garryvoe |
| Cork || Garrylucas |
| Cork || Garretstown |
| Cork || Inchydoney |
| Cork || TheWarren |
| Cork || Owenahincha |
| Cork || Tragumna |
| Cork || Barleycove |
| Waterford || Tramore || Waterford County Council retains 3 Blue Flags. |
| Waterford || Bonmahon |
| Waterford || Clonea |
| Wexford || Courtown || Wexford is being awarded 6 Blue Flags, 4 for beaches and 2 for marinas. |
| Wexford || Morriscastle |
| Wexford || Curracloe |
| Wexford || Rosslare Strand |
| Wexford marina || Kilmore Quay |
| Wexford Marina || New Ross || |
| Wicklow || Greystones || Wicklow retains 3 Blue Flags. |
| Wicklow || Brittas Bay North |
| Wicklow || Brittas Bay South |
| DublinCity || Dollymount || Dublin City Council regained its Blue Flag for Dollymount. |
| Fingal || Portrane || Fingal County Council is being awarded 4 Blue flags. Skerries S and Donabate have been awarded Blue Flags for the first time since 1995 and 2007 respectively. Rush South was not awarded the Blue Flag as it did not comply with water quality criteria. Malahide beach was not awarded the Blue Flag for safety reasons. |
| Fingal || VelvetStrand |
| Fingal || Skerries S |
| Fingal || Donabate |
| Louth || Templetown || Louth retains 3 Blue Flags. |
| Louth || Clogherhead |
| Louth || Port |
| Marinas || Kilinure || Killinure awarded the Blue Flag every year since 2003. . |
The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)
FEE is an international organisation that has been promoting environmental education for sustainable development since 1981. FEE is an umbrella organisation with members in around 60 countries world-wide. FEE is active in environmental education mainly through five programmes: Blue Flag, Green-Schools, Young Reporters for the Environment, Learning about Forests, and Green Key. More information about FEE and the FEE programmes can be found at www.fee-international.org
. An Taisce
The National Trust forIrelandis the Irish member of FEE and responsible for the coordination of FEE programmes in Ireland. Blue Flag Scheme
The Blue Flag was originally a French idea, the Blue Flag programme became an international award in 1987 and has since spread across the world, expanding from one to 46 countries and reaching New Zealand, South Africa, Canadaand Brazil. From 1 June there will be a total of 3849 sites around the world, celebrating the 25th
anniversary of the international Blue Flag programme.
The Blue Flag Award scheme is an internationally recognised quality mark for bathing waters and is coordinated inIrelandby An Taisce (The National Trust forIreland). It requires that bathing waters achieve, among many other elements, compliance with the EU guide values for both microbiological parameters.
- TheGreenCoastaward is a similar scheme for beaches where less infrastructure is in place.
- 2012 is the 25th anniversary of the international Blue Flag programme
The Green Coast Award is part of the Clean Coasts Programme which is funded by the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government.
The Green Coast Awards were originally operated as a partnership between some of the east counties and the authorities inWales. In 2008 the programme was extended to embrace the whole coastline ofIreland. The programme is now facilitated through partnership between An Taisce, Tidy Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. The Department has provided funding to An Taisce to support the nationwide roll-out of the awards and the authorities inNorthern Irelandhave similarly provided funding there. The programme is also sponsored by FáilteIrelandand Coca-Cola.
The aim of the Green Coast Award is to recognise beaches of high environmental quality. To achieve the award, beaches must attain Guideline water quality (the highest European standard) and have effective and appropriate management to ensure the protection of the natural environment. The Green Coast Award is a symbol of excellence. It aims to acknowledge, promote and protect the environment of rural beaches. It places a strong emphasis on community and environmental activities.Details of the Blue Flag and Green Coast
schemes are available at www.blueflag.org
www.beachawards.ie and www.antaisce.org