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Displaying items by tag: Blue Flag

#SURFING - The Irish Examiner reports on the "little economic miracle" that is Ballinspittle in Co Cork, a village that's "bucking the national economic trend" via its plethora of local businesses - and its close proximity to quality surf.

The village has "witnessed a inflict of Australians and South Africans" among others "in search of a surfing haunt", thanks to the nearby Blue Flag beaches at Garrettstown and Garrylucas.

John Hynes, who runs the surfing school GTown Surf, says Cork's coast is "one of the most consistent stretches in the south" that's "perfect for budding surfers. So, there's no excuse for not getting out there and enjoying the waves."

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing

#BLUE FLAGS - Dollymount Strand has regained its Blue Flag status in this year's round of awards, which sees the largest ever number of Irish beaches and marinas recognised.

The beach on north Dublin's Bull Island - which recently hosted Ireland's top kitesurfers for the 'Battle For The Bay' - once again flies the Blue Flag after losing it last year.

Also among the Dublin beaches receiving the EU accolade this year are Donabate, its first award since 2007, and Skerries south, which had not held Blue Flag status since 1995.

The news follows just weeks after Northern Ireland celebrated its own record year with 11 resorts receiving the coveted prize.

A total of 87 beaches and marinas around Ireland's coastline were awarded Blue Flag status this year, with some notable exceptions from the list.

As The Irish Times reports, Rush South and Malahide beach failed to make the cut, while in Cork, Claycastle Beach and the front strand at Yougal lost their flags.

And Mullaghmore in Sligo - an area now world-famous for its top-class surfing - lost out due to safety issues involving roaming livestock.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#IRISH MARINAS - Two marinas were among the 11 resorts on the Northern Ireland coast awarded Blue Flag status this year.

It marks a record year for Northern Ireland's water quality standards as the EU's benchmarks grow increasingly strict, and represents a 100% increase over three years.

Ballyronan on Lough Neagh retains its Blue Flag status, while and Ballycastle Marina achieved the accolade for the first time, as the News Letter reports.

Other stretches retaining their status are Downhill, Benone, Portstewart, Tyrella, Whiterock and Portrush's East and West Strands.

Newcomers to the Blue Flag list are Cranfield West, Murlough and Crawfordsburn Country Park in Co Down, and Castlerock in Co Derry.

Meanwhile, seven beaches across Northern Ireland attained Seaside Awards for their high standards.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood said: “Today’s increase in Blue Flag and Seaside Awards is great news for Northern Ireland’s beach users and seaside towns as they know they can expect the best when they see a Blue Flag or a Seaside Award symbol."

The News Letter has more on the story HERE.

Published in Irish Marinas
Dublin City Council is proposing a mammoth 9km sewage outfall pipe to help make Dublin Bay cleaner - at a cost of €220m.
Herald.ie reports that the 5m-wide pipe - longer than the Dublin Port Tunnel - would dump effluent from the Ringsend treatment plant far offshore, thereby avoiding pollution in the bay and sensitive areas such as Bull Island, which recently lost its EU Blue Flag status for Dollymount Strand.
Plans for the project, which DCC head of waste Pat Cronin described as the "greenest and most economic solution" will be open to public consultation in the near future, with a timetable for completion by 2015.
The pipeline and redeveloped treatment plant will be funded via the Department of the Environment's water services investment programme.

Dublin City Council is proposing a mammoth 9km sewage outfall pipe to help make Dublin Bay cleaner - at a cost of €220m.

Herald.ie reports that the 5m-wide pipe - longer than the Dublin Port Tunnel - would dump effluent from the Ringsend treatment plant far offshore, thereby avoiding pollution in the bay and sensitive areas such as Bull Island, which recently lost its EU Blue Flag status for Dollymount Strand.

Plans for the project, which DCC head of waste Pat Cronin described as the "greenest and most economic solution" will be open to public consultation in the near future, with a timetable for completion by 2015.

The pipeline and redeveloped treatment plant will be funded via the Department of the Environment's water services investment programme.

Published in Dublin Bay
Ireland has ranked fifth in a new Europe-wide report on bathing water quality - but some beaches in Northern Ireland are falling short of strict EU standards.
MEP Jim Higgins welcomed the results of the annual Bathing Water Report for 2010, saying: "Ireland's scenic attributes are a primary reason for attracting tourists and it is essential that our coastal and inland bathing sites are also enticing."
Ireland has moved up five places from its overall rank of 10th in 2009, with 90.1% of all bathing water sites meeting the EU's Blue Flag guidelines for water quality at beaches and swimming spots.
However, the Daily Telegraph reports that a number of beaches in Northern Ireland and other parts of the UK were judged to be 'poor'.
Beaches at Newcastle and Ballyholme in the North are among 16 across the UK that did not pass the EU's strict checks for Blue Flags.
The 2010 report ranks Cyprus as the cleanest bathing spot in Europe, with 100% of sites passing EU insspection. It was closely followed by Croatia with 97.3%, Malta at 95.4% and Greece at 94.2%.

Ireland has ranked fifth in a new Europe-wide report on bathing water quality - but some beaches in Northern Ireland are falling short of strict EU standards.

MEP Jim Higgins welcomed the results of the annual Bathing Water Report for 2010, saying: "Ireland's scenic attributes are a primary reason for attracting tourists and it is essential that our coastal and inland bathing sites are also enticing."

Ireland has moved up five places from its overall rank of 10th in 2009, with 90.1% of all bathing water sites meeting the EU's Blue Flag guidelines for water quality at beaches and swimming spots.

However, the Daily Telegraph reports that a number of beaches in Northern Ireland and other parts of the UK were judged to be 'poor'.

Beaches at Newcastle and Ballyholme in the North are among 16 across the UK that did not pass the EU's strict checks for Blue Flags.

The 2010 report ranks Cyprus as the cleanest bathing spot in Europe, with 100% of sites passing EU insspection. It was closely followed by Croatia with 97.3%, Malta at 95.4% and Greece at 94.2%.

Published in Coastal Notes
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Dun Laoghaire Baths Renovation

Afloat has been reporting on the new plans for the publically owned Dun Laoghaire Baths site located at the back of the East Pier since 2011 when plans for its development first went on display by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. 

Foreshore consent was applied for in 2013.

Last used 30 years ago as the 'Rainbow Rapids' before falling into dereliction – the new site does not include a public pool.

The refurbished Dun Laoghaire Baths include the existing Baths Pavilion for use as artist workspaces, a gallery café and for the provision of public toilet facilities. 

Work finally got underway at Dún Laoghaire on the €9 million redevelopments of the old Dún Laoghaire Baths site in June 2018 under a contract with SIAC-Mantovani.

The works have removed dilapidated structures to the rear of the Pavilion to permit the creation of a new route and landscaping that will connect the walkway at Newtownsmith to both the East Pier and the Peoples Park. 

Original saltwater pools have been filled in and new enhanced facilities for swimming and greater access to the water’s edge by means of a short jetty have also been provided.

The works included the delivery of rock armour to protect the new buildings from storm damage especially during easterly gales. 

It hasn't all been plain sailing during the construction phase with plastic fibres used in construction washing into the sea in November 2018

Work continues on the project in Spring 2020 with the new pier structure clearly visible from the shoreline.

A plinth at the end of the pier will be used to mount a statue of Roger Casement, a former Sandycove resident and Irish nationalist.

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