An Taisce have announced the International Blue Flag and Green Coast Award recipients for 2023, with Mayo among the recipients.
The awards were presented by Darragh O’Brien TD, Minister of State for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, at a ceremony held in the Shoreline Hotel, Donabate.
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 12 Blue Flags for the following beaches: Dooega, Elly Bay, Keel, Keem, Mullahgroe, Mulranny, Ross – Killala, Silver Strand – Dugort, Golden Strand, Old Head, Bertra and Clare Island.
Mayo was also awarded six 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, Cross Beach Belmullet, Rinroe Beach and Carrowniskey Beach, Louisburgh.
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, Acting Head of Environment, Climate Change & Agriculture, at Mayo County Council welcomed the Blue Flag and Green Coast awards for the 18 Mayo beaches, saying, “we are delighted to have been awarded 12 Blue Flag Beaches in Mayo, which recognises the excellent beach and water quality at these Mayo beaches. We are particularly delighted to reclaim the three Blue Flags at Bertra, Clare Island and Old Head, which is the highest number of regained Blue Flags in 2023.”
“Old Head reclaims its Blue Flag Status for the first time since 2012, while Keel retains its Blue Flag status for a 38th year, the longest unbroken Blue Flag award in the Country. Carrowniskey Beach has also regained its Green Coast Award for 2023. 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.”
“I would also like to say a massive thanks to all our local community groups, stakeholder 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 2023 bathing season. The continued partnership working, and co-operation is reflected in the excellent 2023 awards. Finally, we would ask all beach users this summer to continue to be responsible, follow guidelines, be aware of dog restrictions and to leave nothing behind on the beach except their footprints.”
Source: Mayo County Council