An Taisce announced the International Blue Flags and Green Coast Award recipients for 2022. The awards were presented by Malcolm Noonan TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Heritage and Electoral Reform at a ceremony on Curracloe Beach in County Wexford.
The Blue Flag is an international award that recognises beach excellence, and water quality. The Blue Flag Programme is operated in Ireland by An Taisce. Mayo has been awarded 9 Blue Flags for the following beaches: Dooega, Elly Bay, Keel, Keem, Mullahgroe, Mulranny, Ross Killala, Silver Strand Dugort and Golden Strand.
Mayo was also awarded 5 Green Coast Awards. These awards are given to beaches which have excellent water quality but may be less developed and less populated than Blue Flag beaches. The Mayo beaches included in the Green Coast Awards are Tranaun Beach on Inishturk Island, Termon Beach, Srah Beach, Portacloy Beach and Rinroe Beach.
The Green Coast Award is a symbol of environmental excellence and has been established to acknowledge, promote and protect the environment of our beaches. The award is for beaches which have excellent water quality, but which are also prized for their natural, unspoilt environment. These sites must be managed in partnership with the local community to be considered for the Green Coast Award.
Jim Horan, Administrative Office in Environment, Climate Change & Agriculture, at Mayo County Council welcomed the Blue Flag Status and Green Coast for the 14 Mayo beaches, saying, “we are delighted to have retained 9 Blue Flag Beaches in Mayo, which recognises the excellent beach and water quality at these Mayo beaches. Whilst it is disappointing news in regards to Carrowmore and Clare Island, despite our best efforts, they fell marginally short on the required standard for Blue Flag. Our resolve is to redouble our effort over the coming bathing season to retain and restore Blue Flag beaches to the County. We would ask beach users to assist us by eliminating dog fouling as this has been identified as a potential source of impact on the water quality.”
“For the coming season, and to meet International Blue Flag criteria, we have introduced restrictions on dog access to Blue Flag and Blue Flag candidate beaches between 12am-6.30pm. The Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards are a global recognition of the high standards of Mayo beaches and I would like to acknowledge the work of The Environmental team and Municipal District staff at Mayo County Council together with all local community groups and other agencies for all their efforts in ensuring that our beaches continue to be maintained at the high standards required to be awarded Blue Flag and Green Coast for the 2022 bathing season”.
Source: Mayo County Council