Blue And Green Flag Awards 2012

An Taisce has awarded 87 International Blue Flags and 56 National Green Coast Awards to beaches around Ireland on the 25th Anniversary of the Blue Flag celebrations. Each year these flags are provided to the best beaches in the country. The announcements were made on Thursday at the Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links. The awards were presented by Minister for Environment, Local Government and Community, Phil Hogan and President of the International Foundation for Environment Education (FEE), Jan Eriksen.

The awards saw some gains and some losses of the blue flag around the country, a symbol that has come to be recognized as a sign of environmentally clean beaches.

Claycastle and Youghal front strand in cork lost their blue flags, they failed to meet water quality criteria. Mullaghmore in Sligo lost their flag due to on going issues around roaming livestock. Rush south also lost out due to water quality and Malahide also lost their flag due to safety concerns.

Dollymount regained its Blue flag as did Downings, Co. Donegal, Skerries South, Donabate. Three Sisters Marina and Wexford received the blue flag for the first time.

The green flag is award based on clean environment, water quality and good beach management, but they do not have the infrastructure required for blue flags.

Ballycastle, Claycastle, Annestown and Newtown Cove, Cullenstown and Rush lost their Green Flag, while Renvyle, Guilamene Cove, Arklow South, Dollymount and Fountainstown all received a Green Flag.

Patricia Oliver, An Taisce, speaking at the awards said, “We are delighted in this, the 25th anniversary year of Blue Flag to announce a record 87 Irish Blue Flag sites. The continuing high standards of our beaches are testament to the hard work carried out by Local Authorities throughout the year to improve water quality and provide clean, safe beaches for everyone to enjoy. The announcement of 56 Green Coast Awards is fantastic and I would like to commend the many Coastcare groups that care for Ireland’s wonderful beaches, through actions such as community beach cleans and marram grass planting.”

Speaking at the awards Minister Hogan said, “The increase in the number of blue flags in 2012 is very welcome and is due to the combined efforts of the Local Authorities and coastal communities on the ground as well as those in the wider catchment who are playing their part in working to improve water quality.”

Jan Eriksen speaking at the awards said “On its 25th anniversary, Blue Flag is proud to look back on years of quality, safety and responsibility. It’s growth is a sign that this programme still has a bright future. We are delighted to be celebrating this event in Dublin and we look forward to many more positive years for Blue Flag in Ireland and around the world. To further its innovation, Blue Flag has just launched its worldwide Blue Flag phone application for androids and i-phones”