Five Waterford beaches have retained their Blue Flag status in 2022.
Clonea, Counsellors' Strand in Dunmore East, Dunmore Strand, Tramore Beach and Ardmore Beach have been kept their flags from 2021.
Meanwhile, seven bathing areas in Waterford have been given Green Coast awards by An Taisce; Guillamene Cove, Newtown Cove, Kilfarrassey, Annestown, Ballyquin, Curragh and Goat Island Beach.
The Green Coast Award recognises beaches for their clean environment, excellent water quality and natural beauty. It's the first time Kilfarrassey got the award since 2018.
Blue Flag nationally
In total 79 of the 83 beaches awarded in 2021 retained Blue Flag Status for the 2022 bathing season.
The awards were presented by Minister of State Malcolm Noonan at a ceremony in Curracloe Beach in County Wexford this afternoon.
The number of sites receiving the award is up two on last year’s total.
Nationally, five beaches awarded in 2021 have lost the Blue Flag status for this year; Bray South Promenade in Wicklow; Warren, Cregane Strand in Cork; Traught, Kinvara in County Galway; Carrowmore and Clare Island in County Mayo. None of these beaches achieved the “Excellent” water quality classification necessary to be awarded the Blue Flag.
Speaking at the awards ceremony Minister Noonan stated that:
This year celebrates 35 years of the Blue Flag as an international programme and during that time the Blue Flag has become an internationally recognised symbol of high standards in water quality, environmental management, environmental education and safety.
The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised eco-labels. Originating in France in 1985 it was launched as an International programme as part of the "European Year of the Environment in 1987. "
In 1988, the first year sites were awarded outside of France 19 beaches and 2 marinas received the Blue Flag in Ireland. 2022 is the 35th year that beaches and marinas have been awarded here in Ireland and the 95 beaches and marinas being awarded is the highest annual total to date.