#blueflag – Three marinas from a necklace of up to 70 facilties of marinas, jetties and pontoons around the coast have been awarded An Taisce Blue flag for 2013.
An inland marina on Lough Ree on the River Shannon also received an award.
The awards were presented by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Mr. Phil Hogan, T.D, at an awards ceremony held at Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Hall, Co. Dublin last Thursday.
The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised eco-labels. The programme aims to raise environmental awareness and promote sound environmental practices and behaviours among beach and marina users. The 70 beaches and 4 marinas that achieved this award met a specific set of criteria related to water quality, information provision, environmental education and beach management.
Although the official awards citations say the only coastal marina to be awarded a blue flag is Wexford's Kilmore Quay Marina, operated by Wexford County Council, few would argue that Royal Cork marina in Cork Harbour is also coastal, even though the facility is strictly speaking located on the Owenabue river. Likewise the Three Sisters Marina at New Ross in Wexford has strong coastal links even though it is 18 nautical miles from the sea at Hook Head. This 66-berth marina is managed by New Ross Town Council and is located on the banks of the River Barrow.
In Westmeath a single freshwater marina was also awarded a blue flag. The Killinure Point Marina in Glasson, near Athlone is managed by the Quigley's and Waveline and it is located on the inner lakes of Lough Ree on the Shannon.